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2011 Legislative Agenda

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education 2011 Legislative Agenda: Economic Recovery & Growth (PDF, 4.5m)

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education 2010 Legislative Agenda: Economic Recovery & Growth.

Challenges and Opportunities

Record Enrollments
In each of the last three semesters, historic numbers of Oklahomans have enrolled in our public colleges and universities. Fall enrollment has increased by 16,077 students since 2008. This sustained growth in enrollment represents a tremendous challenge and opportunity for our state system of higher education.

The Challenge
Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities continue to provide a high-quality education while working hard to retain current students and conferring a record number of degrees. All of this is being done at a time of shrinking budgets and tightened belts. Our colleges and universities are doing their part and have identified $112.3 million in actual or projected savings from 2009-12.

Bar graph depicting $112.3 million in cumulative cost savings over four years. IT equipment: $3.8 million; travel, periodicals and other: $8.4 million; faculty positions: $22.1 million; supplies: $22.5 million; salary and benefits: $23 million; and utilities: $32.5 million.

These savings have been achieved through energy conservation and technology conversion, changes in salaries and benefits, elimination of positions, reductions in supplies and IT expenditures, and other efficiencies.

In addition to belt tightening, our institutions continue to seek other revenue sources through grant programs, which resulted in $506 million in competitive grants in 2010.

The Opportunity
Record enrollments on our campuses present an excellent opportunity – turning college students into college graduates and continuing the upward trend in the number of degrees conferred. Having more degree holders in the state better positions Oklahoma to retain and attract higher-paying jobs. To meet the challenges and claim the opportunities, we must continue to invest in higher education.

Line graph depicting a 27.4 percent increase in the number of associate and bachelor's degrees conferred from 2000-01 to 2008-09. 2000-01: 18,998; 2001-02: 19,488; 2002-03: 20,458; 2003-04: 21,636; 2004-05: 22,786; 2005-06: 23,298; 2006-07: 23,701; 2007-08: 23,845; 2008-09: a record total 24,211.

2011 Legislative Agenda

FY 2012 Appropriations Request

It is vital that the FY 2012 budget continues to focus on the value of supporting higher education and differentiate higher ed in annual appropriations. Key elements to this approach are to replace the $59.8 million of stimulus funding and the $16.5 million debt service reduction.

As mandatory costs continue to increase (especially health care expenses) and demand for on-campus services continues to grow, the need for additional funding to meet operational obligations has never been greater.

Economic Recovery and Growth
Replacement of FY 11 Stimulus Funds: $59,794,986
Replacement of FY 11 Debt Service Reduction to Be Used for Institutional Operations: $16,500,000
Total Funding Need for Operating Obligations: $30,938,170
Endowed Chair Bond Issue Debt Service: $5,600,000
Section 13 Offset: $618,150

Removal of Financial Barriers
Concurrent Enrollment: $1,500,000
Academic Scholars: $600,000

Office of Accountability: $48,014

Total New FY 12 State Funds: $115,599,320
% Difference from Total FY 11 Appropriation: 5.56%
FY 12 Total With Oklahoma’s Promise Allocation ($63.2m): $1,122,465,350

Fast Facts

Contact Information

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor

Hollye Hunt, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations