The Norman Transcript


April 23, 2013

Could public higher education disappear?



When I first came back to OU to be president, the state provided 32 percent of the university budget. Now the state provides 15 percent and the support is falling. The OU Medical School receives less than 7 percent of its budget from the state.

State appropriations for higher education in Oklahoma are now $100 million lower than in 2008. In addition, $200 million in uncontrollable cost increases, like health insurance, have also been absorbed by Oklahoma colleges in four years without help from the state.

This comes at a time when a new report by Battelle for the State Chamber of Commerce demonstrates that the economy benefits $5 for every $1 invested in higher education.

The result of declining state support for public higher education and cost shifting to students is threatening America's role in the world.

In only a decade we have dropped from 1st place in the world to 12th place in the percentage of our young people going on to college.

The impact on American jobs and our ability to compete is clear for all to see. In addition, democracies like ours only function well when we have informed and well-educated citizens.

Continued disinvestment in public higher education gravely threatens our future.

Oklahoma can demonstrate important national leadership by increasing appropriations for our public colleges and universities this year. Public higher education must not be allowed to disappear.

There is no time to waste. It is time for all Oklahomans to speak out!

David L. Boren is former governor, U.S. Senator and currently President of The University of Oklahoma.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014