, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

November 5, 2013

Chancellor: Colleges on track to save $451M in 5 years

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s higher education chancellor told a legislative panel Tuesday that the state’s 25 colleges and universities are on track to save $451.7 million in five years.

Chancellor Glen Johnson said the state’s higher education institutions have made it a priority to reduce their operating costs through 2015 to meet legislative directives. He said the cost savings is the result of energy conservation, information technology, changes in salaries, benefits and some university positions, and a reduction in supplies.

“We’ve taken your directives very seriously,” Johnson told members of the House Higher Education and Career Tech Committee. “There’s more work to do.”

Johnson made the comments during a legislative study into the administrative costs of the state’s colleges and universities and its impact on students.

The state’s higher education system is coordinated by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and each college and university is governed by a separate board of regents. The local governing boards are responsible for the operation and management of each of the state’s colleges and universities.

House Speaker T.W. Shannon, who requested the study, said he wanted to explore whether the number of higher education administrative boards hampers student performance and success. Shannon, R-Lawton, said other states have reduced the number of higher education governing boards.

Higher education officials said local boards are made up of unpaid volunteers who devote their time and energy to schools’ needs.

“The way they’re structured certainly meets their needs,” Johnson said.

Burns Hargis, president of Oklahoma State University, said it would be difficult for a single higher education governing board to devote the amount of attention needed by each of the state’s schools.

“You still benefit from the local boards,” Hargis said.

Johnson told lawmakers that cutting operating costs has helped the state’s colleges avoid large tuition increases in recent years. Johnson said tuition at Oklahoma colleges and universities has risen an average of 4.2 percent when other states have seen double-digit tuition increases.

Johnson also said Oklahoma’s higher education institutions are working to increase the number of graduates by 67 percent by 2023. About 30,500 students were graduated from a state college or university in 2011, and the number of graduates will have to increase to 50,900 — an increase of 20,400 students — in order to meet the goal, Johnson said.

Johnson said the state’s regents plan to release their budget request for the upcoming year on Thursday. The higher education budget for fiscal year that ends June 30 is more than $988 million, $33 million more than the previous year.

Text Only
Oklahoma News
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.