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Posts published in “Day: July 15, 2006”

Toward a Westmoreland resolution

Some months back, University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer seemed to be headed for a crash in a battle with a group of students and others over a shift in student housing.

Dave FrohnmayerWe noted in January that as Frohnmayer was searching for ways to physically expand the campus, and searching for money to buy additional property, he seized on the idea of selling a 400-unit student housing development named Westmoreland, which among other things provided about half of the married student housing on campus. The result was major-league uproar on campus.

An update: The deal is going forward, following a Friday approval by the state Board of Higher Education, and will raise $18.5 million for the university. (The student member of the board was the lone "no" vote.) But the uproar seems to be settling, in large part because Frohnmayer appears to have listened and borne in mind the issues asosciated with the sale. As a result, the circumstances surrounding the sale lo9ok different now.

The Eugene Register-Guard reported it this way:

The vote came after UO President Dave Frohnmayer told the board the university will increase the compensation it will pay to current and former Westmoreland residents. Students who left after the plan to sell the 404-unit complex was announced in October or who leave before the deal closes will receive $300 to help cover moving expenses, up from the $150 previously offered.

That's on top of the two-year rent freeze for students who stay at Westmoreland under the new owner, waiver of application fees to move back into the complex and assistance with child care costs for former Westmoreland residents. Frohnmayer said he decided to boost the compensation after hearing students speak of the difficulties they face moving to different housing. He pledged additional help if necessary.

Evidently, Frohnmayer showed down a bit from his speed of last fall, when he seemed intent on simply ramming through the sale, and worked out ways to help the students while still getting the deal done. It sounds like a case study in getting some things dnoe while not at the same time undoing others.