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May 25, 2017 - State Regents Hold First Meeting of Task Force on the Future of Oklahoma Higher Education RSS feed

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The first meeting of the Task Force on the Future of Higher Education was held today in Oklahoma City. The task force, which was formed at the State Regents’ March meeting, will examine every aspect of system operations, including academic models, such as program and faculty sharing and targeted degree completion initiatives; online education models; structure; fiscal services and operational efficiencies; workforce development; and information technology to ensure they are properly aligned and defined to best serve the students and state. Regent Ron White will serve as chair of the task force, and Regent Toney Stricklin will serve as vice chair.

“Today, the Task Force on the Future of Higher Education began the important work of reviewing the current performance, productivity and structure of the state system of higher education,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “A highly educated workforce is more important than it has ever been, and we look forward to working collaboratively with task force members to explore ways the system can maximize limited resources, boost innovation, and identify additional cost savings and efficiencies in this challenging fiscal environment.”

During the meeting, Chancellor Johnson presented the history of the state system of higher education and provided an overview of system operations. Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan, lead advisor to the task force, Senior Fellow with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Chancellor Emeritus of the University System of Maryland, and past president of The Ohio State University, shared his perspective of higher education in the national context.

Designees for Gov. Mary Fallin, Speaker Charles McCall, and Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schultz were added to the task force membership. Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Natalie Shirley will represent Gov. Fallin; Representative Jadine Nollan will represent Speaker McCall; and Jeff Greenlee, President, NBC Oklahoma, will represent Sen. Schultz. Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II, Commander, Air Force Sustainment Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Tinker Air Force Base, will also serve as a member of the task force.

Task force members were assigned to the following subcommittees, through which the work of the task force will be conducted.

College Degree Completion and Workforce Development Initiative Subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged by the State Regents’ task force to review current college degree completion initiatives and develop recommendations for the State Regents to consider related to increasing college degree completion rates and aligning academic programs to meet current and future workforce needs.

SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Academic Program Innovations and Online Education Subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged by the State Regents’ task force to review best practices in academic program delivery and online education, and develop recommendations for the State Regents to consider related to encouraging innovative academic program delivery models, including increased collaboration among state system colleges and universities, and scaling online education in Oklahoma.

SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS:

System Structure Subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged by the State Regents’ task force to conduct a systematic and thorough review of the overall structure of the Oklahoma state system of higher education, which will include but not be limited to governance models, institutional missions, and geographic service regions.

SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Fiscal Solutions, Efficiencies, Affordability, and Technology Subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged by the State Regents’ task force to review current resource allocation within the state system, revenue trends and projections, alternative sources of revenue, and capacity for improving operational efficiencies through institutional collaboration and technology.

SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Additions to task force membership and task force subcommittee assignments will be presented for ratification at the State Regents’ meeting tomorrow.