High school seniors planning to attend the University of Oklahoma will have to put up a $250 deposit to secure enrollment under a plan approved Wednesday by the university's board of regents. If also approved by the State Regents for Higher Education, the change will take effect in 2009 and be a condition for summer and fall enrollment for students accepted to OU as "direct-from-high-school freshmen.” Of the $250, $190 would go toward housing or tuition and $60 is an enrollment fee. The $190 is refundable if the student withdraws admittance by May 1. "It is an attempt for us to manage and be able to predict with greater accuracy the size of our freshman class,” OU President David Boren said. "When we accept students, we have to guess ... how many will actually come to Oklahoma in the fall so we can make plans for housing and so-forth. This will help weed out those that are not serious,” He said the plan also would enable OU to more quickly extend offers to students on waiting lists. OU says seven of the Big 12 institutions require enrollment deposits. Oklahoma State University does not. Students who don't pay by May 1 will have their offer of admission revoked. The deposit could be waived or deferred for students demonstrating financial need. Regents also increased Cameron University President Cindy Ross's annual salary from $240,000 to $259,200, with a $50,000 bonus on Feb. 1 and another $50,000 in February 2009 if she remains on the job. Regents noted her success in raising nearly $10 million in the past three years and increasing the number of endowed faculty chairs. Ross has been president of the Lawton campus since 2002.Comments
Scholarship funds set upAlso Wednesday, Boren announced the establishment of an endowed scholarship fund for elementary school teachers. The fund was started with a $500,000 gift by Gene Rainbolt in honor of his late wife Jeannine Rainbolt. Additional gifts in her honor have increased the fund to $610,000. The Rainbolts' daughter, Dr. Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, is an OU regent. "We are going to be able to help some extraordinary young people, not just now but in years to come,” the OU president said. Boren said OU received an $800,000 grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation for OU's Judaic Studies Program. The money will endow several faculty positions. OU also will launch a $1.7 million fundraiser to replace trees on campus that were damaged or destroyed during the December ice stormthat destroyed more than 1,000 trees and damaged many more. Boren's wife, Molly Shi Boren, will lead the fund drive.
OU regents also ...•Gave the go-ahead to seek legislative approval to issue $75 million in general obligation bonds for the OU Cancer Institute, which is under construction on the OU Health Sciences Center campus in Oklahoma City. •Gave approval to seek acquisition of the Center for Healthy Living medical offices and fitness center at Lincoln and NE 10. OU would continue operating the fitness center, which has about 2,500 members. •Approved design plans for a $29 million aquatic facility, which will connect to the Huston Huffman Center and include a 25-meter indoor pool with seating for 350, indoor leisure pool, outdoor sundeck and rowing team facilities. •Named Jim "Tripp” Hall as vice president for university development, and Paul Massad as vice president emeritus, senior associate vice president and director of major gifts.