The Norman Transcript

Opinion

June 3, 2014

Focus on funding

NORMAN — OU President David Boren and state higher education officials sounded the funding alarm to legislators early this spring. They feared a 5-percent budget cut proposed for all state agencies would force big changes and tuition increases.

Lawmakers and Gov. Mary Fallin spared higher education from the cuts, leaving the state’s colleges and universities with what amounts to stand-still budgets.

Higher fixed costs and the adding of class sections to accommodate increased enrollments will challenge the institutions.

Higher education officials are in the middle of a campaign to produce more college graduates to meet future workplace demands. Those programs include emphasis to retain students and encourage those on campus to enroll in more hours per semester.

At a state regents meeting this past week, Chancellor Glen Johnson said the efforts by lawmakers to maintain gains in college funding are appreciated and send the right message about higher education.

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