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April 30, 2014

OU expects state funding to decrease 5 percent

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren hosted an open discussion of the University’s budget Tuesday afternoon, including possible impacts related to tuition and fees for the next school year.

During the discussion, Boren explained the change in the Norman campus’ components of total operating revenue budget, comparing years 1977, 1995 and 2015.

In 1977, 46 percent of Norman campus’ components of total operating revenue budget was provided for by state appropriations, 41 percent provided by other sources and 13 percent came from tuition and fees.

In 1995, 32 percent came from state appropriations, 52 percent came from other sources and 16 percent came from tuition and fees.

Jump to 2015, and the university estimates that if state funding cuts increase by 5 percent, then only 15 percent of Norman campus’ components of total operating revenue budget will be provided for by state appropriations, 51 percent will come from other sources and 34 percent would come from tuition and fees.

“We are putting more and more of the burden on students and their families,” Boren said. “How do we move forward in the midst of the state defunding us?”

According to informational charts at the presentation, OU estimates that the following for Fiscal Year 2015 would be a total of $8,400,000 fixed costs:

· Building operations and maintenance — $400,000

· New buildings coming online — $300,000

· Utilities — $1,000,000

· Additional financial assistance for students — $5,300,000

· Faculty promotions and faculty compression — $1,400,000

Additionally, Boren went over the following OU budget facts:

· Fixed costs = $8,400,000

· Five percent cut in state funding = $6,800,000

· One percent increase in tuition and fees = $1,500,000

· One percent across-the-board salary increase = $2,700,000

With $8,400,000 fixed costs and the possible $6,800,000, or 5 percent, cut to state appropriations being considered by the state legislature, Boren said that would create a $15,200,000 deficit.

Increasing tuition and fees by 10 percent (a total of $15 million) could cover the deficit, but Boren said OU would not do that to its students.

“How do you close this deficit? We’ve been cutting off the fat and down to the bone of our programs. We’re down $100 million in cuts from the legislature since 2008 ... We’re working hard every day to change that original budget that came before the legislature, that $50 million cut.”

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