OKLAHOMA CITY -- State Reps. Mark McBride, R-Moore, and Toni Hasenbeck, R-Elgin, this week attended the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents meeting in Norman.

McBride, chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education, and vice chair Hasenbeck said they hope to attend other Regents meetings this fall and winter, including at Oklahoma State University and Northwestern Oklahoma State University, prior to the 2020 legislative session.

"I want to gain greater insight into the needs and funding of higher education," McBride said. "I want to change the tone on education in this state. For too long we underfunded education or let education funding lag behind other needs. And yet our schools and our colleges and universities do an incredible job educating students for future jobs and for life. I want to make sure we adequately understand how funds are being used by higher education institutions and how we can help them enhance the quality of their offerings for our state students."

Hasenbeck said she was glad to join Rep. McBride at the OU Regents meeting Wednesday.

"I believe it's important we remain engaged with the higher education community across Oklahoma throughout the year," Hasenbeck said. "This will allow us to better understand their needs when it comes time to discuss appropriations, especially considering the wide variety of post-secondary education options available in the state and the vital roles each play in our economy."

McBride said the Regents were receptive to having the representatives attend. He said he's not sure that past A&B Education Subcommittee chairs have attended similar meetings, but for him, it is important to be more engaged with higher education.

McBride said OU is ranked No. 132 out of 1,400 universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The Price College of Business was ranked the No. 50 business school in the nation, up from No. 62 previously.

"Congratulations to OU staff, faculty and students," McBride said. "This shows that this university is producing work-ready graduates and conducting quality research among other factors. I know our other state universities are doing similar work."

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