2019 Legislative Update

By | September 18, 2019

Oregon passed two new bills that went into effect on July 1, 2019, supporting the use of open educational resources in higher education.

HB 2213 requires each of Oregon’s public community colleges and universities to have a textbook affordability plan. Plans must:

  • Include measurable goals
  • Address decreased revenue from textbook sales
  • Market the no-cost/low-cost course designation in schedules
  • Support academic freedom
  • Define how faculty will learn about no-cost and low-cost course materials.

Effective plans require input from people representing a range of roles on campus. While the bill requires that at least one student be included, it is recommended to consult also with faculty, librarians, distance learning specialists, bookstore managers, administrators, accessibility services, registrars, and others involved.

A group of Oregon and Washington librarians created a folder of strategic planning templates that can be adopted or modified as institutions begin the planning process.

HB 2214 did not pass, but its goal was met. Funding for the statewide OER program was included in the Higher Education Coordinating Commission budget bill, HB 5024. As explained on p.6 of the bill’s budget report, the legislature will appropriate the same amount of funding as in the previous biennium for Oregon’s statewide OER program. In addition to allocating flat funding, this funding is continuous, meaning that in two years it will be included in the budget automatically.

Many thanks to the individuals and organizations who advocated for Oregon’s OER program!