The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 20, 2013

Keeping up with costs

NORMAN — OU President David L. Boren often reminds audiences that state appropriations to higher education have failed to keep up with actual costs. Funding at previous year levels doesn’t take into account the increased fixed costs of utilities and health insurance.

Mr. Boren, in a university press conference for student media this week, said the state provided only 16.2 percent of the university’s budget in the first half of 2013. Percentage wise, that’s about half of what the state provided only 15 years ago, according to a story in The Oklahoma Daily, OU’s student newspaper.

Legislators appropriated about 14.77 percent of the state’s nearly $7 billion budget to higher education institutions. OU received about $141 million this fiscal year.

Mr. Boren and other college presidents are talking tuition increases if state appropriations don’t start keeping pace with costs. Lawmakers expect to have more than $200 million in additional resources this year and have more than $1 billion in requests from state agencies.

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