SOU expects faculty union to ratify contract



The Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees on Friday moved forward on a $2 million bond issue for McNeal Pavilion and $1.5 million in bonds for the new Jefferson Public Radio building.

The bonds for the athletic complex — the old one is now being razed — will cover some $2 million in increases in construction costs accrued since the contract was made.

The board’s vote authorizes it to approach the state legislature. The money for the JPR building, to be built by the SOU Theater Arts building, would be paid by SOU with debt service funded from the JPR Foundation over a period of time.

Negotiations on the SOU faculty contract were finally settled. A faculty vote was set for late Friday and announcement due Monday, Jan. 25, of the results. Ratification is expected, said Ryan Brown, an SOU spokesman. The deal includes the first ever three-year contract, a cost-of-living hike of 2 percent (2.5 percent for assistant professors) the first year, 2.75 percent in year two and 3.5 percent in year three. The present health care remains the same. There will be increased funding for professional development.

Talks had broken down a few months ago and mediation looked unavoidable, but the deal was sealed without it, said Brown. 

The board approved a 3 percent cost of living adjustment for SOU President Roy Saigo, who did not get the raise in October along with the rest of administrators because he was on a separate contract. His contract, due to expire at the end of June, was extended for a month to help with the transition to the new president. His moving expenses were upped from $5,000 to $15,000. The vote was unanimous.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at

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