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2008 Legislative Agenda

2008 Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Legislative Agenda (PDF, 2.5m)


Competing in Our Second Century.

2008 Legislative Agenda for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

UPDATED: DECEMBER 13, 2007

2008 Legislative Agenda -- At a Glance. $145.2 million in new funding. Total FY 09 Request: $1.2 billion. Maximize state appropriations Oklahoma's campuses. Reduce financial barriers for student access. Honor endowed chair matches. Enhance economic development. Boost the EDGE endowment.Oklahomans love to compete. From the gridiron to the board room, competition drives us to prepare better, work harder and dedicate ourselves more to achieving our goals. But some of the “rules of the game” that govern business competition have changed in the last decade. The “field” has changed; it is now as big as the globe, and our “opponent” could easily be college-educated, English-speaking and sitting in an office 3,000 miles away.

As Oklahoma begins its second century, we have good reason to be proud. Both Tulsa and Oklahoma City recently ranked in the Forbes.com 10 Best Cities for Jobs. The state continues to see steady increases in college enrollment, and the number of college degrees earned has increased 24.5 percent since 2000. This is an excellent example of the kind of return on investment that Oklahomans can expect from higher education.

Oklahoma ranks 13th in the country for growth in college degrees according to the most recent information available. And the vast majority of Oklahoma residents earning a bachelor’s degree (88 percent) are employed in the state one year following graduation.

This is all welcomed news because our state’s future prosperity depends, in large part, on the quality, competency and educational attainment of our citizens.

There is a clear link between educational attainment and income, and the benefits of more education are realized by individuals who earn degrees and by the entire state. On average, a college graduate will earn at least $1.1 million more in his or her lifetime than a high school graduate. This income differential translates into more state revenue and a more versatile and qualified workforce for attracting and retaining business.

Bar graph depicting a 24.5 percent increase in associate and bachelor's degrees conferred since 2000.

Legislative agenda continued