MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 7, 2012

OU president hopes Legislature considers education funding


Associated Press

— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — University of Oklahoma President David Boren said Friday he hopes state lawmakers will focus on funding both for higher education and public schools during the coming legislative session to keep down the cost of tuition and fees.

"We're hoping this may be the year of education at the state Capitol," Boren told the OU Board of Regents during their meeting in Oklahoma City.

Boren said OU has seen a $125 million decrease in state funding since 2009 as the state has dealt with the effects of a national recession. He said public education has experienced a $200 million reduction during the same time frame.

"My hope is that we'll get about halfway back to where we were in 2009," Boren told The Associated Press following the meeting. He said any potential increase in tuition and fees, which rose 3 percent for the current academic year, are dependent on state funding.

Tuition and fees for in-state OU students are $8,705.50 a year, and out-of-state students pay $20,342.50. The tuition and fee schedule was approved in June, weeks after the Legislature adjourned.

Boren said state funding covers about 14 percent of the OU budget, which he said is about $1.6 billion for the system's three campuses, down from about 32 percent when he became OU's president in November 1994. He said earnings from research projects and private donations have helped balance the university's budget.