The Norman Transcript

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September 14, 2011

OU’s public revenue stream down this year

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma expects to receive fives times more in tuition and mandatory fees this fiscal year than it did in 1995 to keep up with rising costs and sliding percentages in state appropriations.

OU President David Boren discussed university finances and other topics Monday during his annual State of the University address to the Faculty Senate.

The Norman campus expects to receive $144.6 million from state appropriation in fiscal year 2012, up from $85.3 million in 1995.

But with a campus’ operating revenue budget this year of nearly $810 million — three times more than the $263 million operating budget in 1995 — the Norman campus is getting 18 percent of its operating budget from the state compared to 31.3 percent in 1995.

“Down to 18 percent — at what point are you no longer a public university?” Boren said. “It’s 11.7 percent at the Health Sciences Center, and the medical school alone is down to 8 percent. This should be of tremendous concern to all of us.”

OU has relied more heavily on other revenue sources to make up the difference, primarily from tuition, mandatory fees and private gifts.

This year, Norman campus students are expected to pay $224.5 million in tuition and fees, which represents 27.6 percent of the revenue budget.

In 1995, students combined to pay only $44.3 million in tuition and mandatory fees, equating to 16.2 percent of the revenue budget.

Despite the increases, OU charged the lowest non-resident tuition among the 11 public Big 12 Conference universities in 2010-11 and was next-to-last in resident tuition.

Oklahoma State charged an average of $5 less than OU for the year for 30 credits, $6,784 to $6,779.

Boren also said donors continue to make a big difference. OU received about $156 million in monetary donations and in-kind gifts in the fiscal year that ended in June, up from $26.5 million in fiscal year 1994.

“More than $1.6 billion has been given since 1994,” Boren said. “Think of where we would be without that.”

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