At their meeting yesterday, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education announced the formation of a subcommittee to develop recommendations and action items related to institutional requests for function change and/or mission expansion for State Regents’ consideration. This action follows the State Regents’ May 25 approval of a moratorium deferring consideration of potential changes in college and university function and mission through June 30, 2019.
“The State Regents’ Function Change and Mission Expansion Subcommittee will evaluate related national trends in all institutional tiers to identify ways to further improve the delivery of higher education for our students,” said Regent’s Chairman Ronald H. White. “The work of this subcommittee will greatly complement the work recently completed by the Task Force on the Future of Higher Education.”
Function change requests can create new levels of instruction offered by institutions, such as authorizing a community college to offer a bachelor’s degree or a regional university to offer a doctoral degree. Function changes also impact the associated costs for such instruction and related expenses. Mission expansion requests can increase the breadth of academic programs offered by institutions within their established function, such as adding a graduate or associate degree program at a university that historically offers only bachelor’s degrees. In both scenarios, institutions are required to fully explore collaborative opportunities with institutions already holding the requisite function and mission in their service area.
“This new subcommittee will develop a framework to assess the viability of these types of requests in light of best practices established in higher education across the country,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Guidelines and criteria developed by the subcommittee will assist the State Regents as they consider institutional requests within the context of the recommendations issued by the Task Force on the Future of Higher Education.”
Formed in March 2017, the Task Force on the Future of Higher Education examined all aspects of system operations, including academic models, online education, structure, fiscal services and operational efficiencies, workforce development, and information technology. The Task Force unanimously approved its Report on the Future of Higher Education at the January 31, 2018 meeting, and the State Regents subsequently accepted the Task Force report and recommendations at their February 1 meeting.
Four State Regents will serve on the Function Change and Mission Expansion Subcommittee. Regent Ronald H. White will chair the subcommittee, and Regent Joseph L. Parker, Jr. will serve as vice-chair. Regent Jay Helm will serve on the subcommittee in his capacity as incoming chair of the State Regents, and the fourth member will be the State Regents’ incoming Academic Affairs committee chair, whom will be appointed by Regent Helm.
In addition to the four State Regents, the following campus presidents have been appointed to serve as voting members of the subcommittee:
- President Burns Hargis, Oklahoma State University
- President-Designate Jim Gallogly, University of Oklahoma
- President John McArthur, Cameron University
- President Tim Faltyn, Oklahoma Panhandle State University
- President Don Betz, University of Central Oklahoma
- President John Feaver, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
- President Jeff Hale, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
- President Jeanie Webb, Rose State College
- President Leigh Goodson, Tulsa Community College
Several chief academic officers from state system institutions have been invited to serve as non-voting academic resource members in order to share their knowledge and expertise with the subcommittee, including:
- Dr. Gary Sandefur, Oklahoma State University
- Dr. Kyle Harper, University of Oklahoma
- Dr. Debbie Landry, Northeastern State University
- Dr. Bryon Clark, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
- Dr. Bo Hannaford, Northwestern Oklahoma State University
- Dr. Richard Beck, Rogers State University
- Mr. Greg Gardner, Oklahoma City Community College
- Dr. Marc Willis, Carl Albert State College
- Dr. Janet Wansick, Connors State College
- Ms. Rose Marie Smith, Redlands Community College
The State Regents’ Function Change and Mission Expansion Subcommittee will develop and review criteria, guidelines, and recommendations related to institutional functions and missions that support the continued advancement of higher education in Oklahoma. The report and recommendations of the Task Force on the Future of Higher Education can be accessed online at www.okhighered.org/future/.