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February 3, 2003 :: Chancellor, State Regents Commend Governor's Tuition Deregulation Support, Accept Economic Development Challenge

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“The State Regents would like to commend Gov. Henry for recognizing the crucial role higher education plays in Oklahoma’s future. In these hard economic times, his support for the deregulation of the tuition-setting process will allow our public colleges and universities to be more competitive – a vital step toward ensuring that our schools can regain lost ground due to the budget shortfall," said Chancellor Paul G. Risser.

“We appreciate the governor’s efforts to seek funding for financial aid programs such as the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program so that higher education will continue to remain accessible to qualified students.

“The State Regents also accept the governor’s challenge to become a ‘force’ in the economic development of our state, and our colleges and universities are willing to provide the leadership.

“For Oklahoma to continue to be globally competitive, it is essential that we maintain our forward momentum in producing more college graduates. To specifically attract the higher paying industries our state seeks, we must provide a well-qualified workforce. We must also continue to enhance and further develop the outstanding programs we already have in place.

“We look forward to working with the governor and his staff, legislators, and community and business leaders to create an aggressive economic development strategy for the state.