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Wed Nov 15, 2017, 02:18 PM

Privatizing Oregon's Largest Universities Would Be 'Complex'

What would it look like if Oregon’s largest public universities fell into private control? It’s an idea that surfaced recently as a possible way to save the state money. But the people who floated the suggestion also acknowledged that it’s a bit of a long shot.

The suggestion came as part of an effort to trim $5 billion of “unfunded actuarial liability” from the state’s public pension system, or PERS. There’s a $25 billion gap between what Oregon will owe its public retirees and what it currently expects to be able to pay them.

In April, Gov. Kate Brown announced she was forming a task force to explore options to cut into that shortfall. She left nearly everything on the table, including selling off most state assets. This month, the task force released a list of “options.”

One of those options was called, simply, “university privatization.” The task force estimates that doing this could raise anywhere from $250 million to $1.5 billion. That’s primarily through the initial process to hand the schools over to private control. There would be operational savings going forward, but those are less clear. And the savings wouldn’t necessarily be dedicated to paying down the public pension debt.

Read more: http://nwnewsnetwork.org/post/privatizing-oregons-largest-universities-would-be-complex

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Reply Privatizing Oregon's Largest Universities Would Be 'Complex' (Original post)
TexasTowelie Nov 2017 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Nov 2017 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Nov 15, 2017, 02:21 PM

1. That's scary for lots of reasons.

Unfortunately, underfunded pensions for state, city, county, and other public employees has been largely hidden for years. I recall reading about the looming crisis at least a couple of decades ago. And it's only going to get worse.

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