Oklahoma higher education leaders call for more funding from state

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education requested an increase of 7.7 percent for a total budget of nearly $1.065 billion. But Gov. Mary Fallin's proposed budget calls for a 5 percent cut, which puts the agency's appropriation at $939,121,557.
by Kathryn McNutt Modified: February 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm •  Published: February 4, 2014

Saying higher education is “a critical component of Oklahoma's economic future,” Chancellor Glen Johnson argued for more state money Monday after the governor called for a cut of nearly $50 million.

In her fiscal year 2015 budget, Gov. Mary Fallin proposed a 5 percent reduction for most agencies.

The state is expected to have about $170 million less to appropriate for fiscal year 2015.

Key priority?

“Previously in tight budget years, our governor and Legislature have made strategic funding decisions to support key state priorities. We believe we can make the case to the governor and Legislature that higher education is one of those key state priorities,” Johnson said.

Fallin's budget does call for targeted increases, but higher education is not one of the priority areas.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education requested an increase of 7.7 percent — or an additional $76.3 million — for a total budget of nearly $1.065 billion.

The governor's budget puts the agency's appropriation at $939,121,557.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren expressed concern Fallin's budget includes a 0.25 percent personal income tax cut.

“This budget will be very damaging to the future of our state if it is not modified in the weeks ahead,” Boren said. “How can we afford another tax cut when we are already shortchanging the education of our children and grandchildren?

by Kathryn McNutt
Higher Education Reporter
Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from...
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