Repeal of Class Size Policy (Bonine #500)

Date of Notice: 
Tue, 05/12/2015
Legislation, Resolution, or Policy Adoption: 
Current Status: 
Approved on 06/03/15

1.1  WHEREAS the transition to a new Board of Trustees for the University under the law popularly known as Senate Bill 270 of 2013 removed the State Board of Higher Education as a future source of policies for the University of Oregon; and

1.2  WHEREAS a number of policies adopted by the State Board of Higher Education in the past involve academic matters as commonly understood in higher education; and

1.3  WHEREAS Section 170 (8) of Senate Bill 270 provides:

(8) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the lawfully adopted rules and policies of the State Board of Higher Education pertaining to a university with a governing board that are in effect on the effective date of this 2013 Act continue in effect until lawfully superseded or repealed by the standards or policies of the governing board or the university [emphasis added];


1.4  WHEREAS linkages and comments are provided on the Senate’s “Master List” of rules and policies, including unique, easy-to-track identifying numbers (see; and

1.5  WHEREAS, the University Senate’s Curriculum and Program Matters Work Group has concluded that State Board unnumbered Policy titled “Class Size,” mandating a minimum size for undergraduate courses, adopted by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education at meeting #304 in 1962, is obsolete and not needed as a formal policy for our university; and

1.6  WHEREAS class size varies from one department to another, at the discretion of faculty members and departments

Section II

2.1   BE IT HEREBY MOVED that following unnumbered former Board policy (found at be repealed as a University of Oregon policy:

500       no number    Board Policy     Class size


Unless a compelling educational or financial reason exists, no lower division section enrolling fewer than ten students will be continued. The responsibility for determining whether a compelling educational reason exists for a particular class will be exercised by the institutional executives through their instructional deans. At the upper division level, regular class sections enrolling fewer than ten students will be discouraged. It is recognized, nonetheless, that upper division electives and required sequences in specialized curricula may make it necessary to offer classes below the standard of ten students at the upper division level in more numerous instances than at the lower division level. Seminars, thesis, and reading and conference offerings are not to be construed as regular classes for purposes of this standard.

Because of the individualized nature of graduate study, no specific standard related to class size is proposed at the post-baccalaureate level.

Financial Impact: 
Cost Neutral

Curriculum & Program Matters Workgroup

Deborah Healey (Senior Instructor, American English Institute)