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2018 Legislative Agenda

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Task Force on the Future of Higher Education

The Task Force on the Future of Higher Education is charged to consider ways to improve degree completion and increase productivity by focusing on modernization, efficiencies and innovation. The task force is examining every aspect of system operations, including academic models, online education, structure, fiscal services and operational efficiencies, workforce development, and information technology to ensure they are properly aligned and defined to best serve our students and state.

Concurrent Enrollment

The concurrent enrollment program allows outstanding juniors and seniors to earn college credit while still in high school. In the last academic year, there were nearly 12,000 students enrolled in concurrent courses, generating more than 102,000 credit hours.

Total Cost of Concurrent Enrollment Program, FY 2008-18

2008 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $2.6 million; Percent actually funded: 96 percent.
2009 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $2.9 million; Percent actually funded: 100 percent.
2010 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $3.1 million; Percent actually funded: 90.2 percent.
2011 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $3.8 million; Percent actually funded: 64.7 percent; Shortage: $1.3 million.
2012 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $4 million; Percent actually funded: 72.2 percent; Shortage: $1.1 million.
2013 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $4.9 million; Percent actually funded: 72.6 percent; Shortage: $1.3 million.
2014 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $5.5 million; Percent actually funded: 72.6 percent; Shortage: $1.5 million.
2015 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $6.2 million; Percent actually funded: 72.6 percent; Shortage: $1.7 million.
2016 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $7.1 million; Percent actually funded: 76.1 percent; Shortage: $1.7 million.
2017 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $8.3 million; Percent actually funded: 35.2 percent; Shortage: $5 million short. After return allocations – Percent actually funded: 62.8 percent; Shortage: $3 million short.
2018 – Cost if 100 percent funded: $10.8 million; Percent actually funded: 26.8 percent; Shortage: $2.8 million.

With successive years of budget cuts, the concurrent enrollment program is now funded at only 26.8 percent of the cost to state system colleges and universities. To fully fund concurrent enrollment would require a $10.8 million appropriation.

Complete College America

Work continues to reach Oklahoma’s goal of increasing the number of degrees and certificates earned by 67 percent by 2023.

Additional degrees and certificates earned:

Four-year goal: 6,800.
Four-year results: 8,462.

Other states are investing in degree completion. Data from the State Higher Education Executive Officers association show that Oklahoma ranks last among the 33 participating CCA states in the percentage change in state funding support since the initiative’s inception in 2011.

Historic Budget Cuts

State support for Oklahoma’s higher education system has been set back a full generation. The $773.6 million appropriation to public higher education for FY 2018 is $41.2 million less than the amount appropriated in FY 2001.

FY 01: $814,772,157.
FY 02: $858,575,544.
FY 03: $846,555,610.
FY 04: $756,880,403.
FY 05: $787,036,296.
FY 06: $859,333,880.
FY 07: $982,333,880.
FY 08: $1,050,970,669.
FY 09: $1,039,886,280.
FY 10: $1,001,948,530.
FY 11: $953,666,030.
FY 12: $945,160,277.
FY 13: $955,260,277.
FY 14: $988,549,007.
FY 15: $987,523,284.
FY 16: $874,588,790.
FY 17: $810,022,109.
FY 18: $773,597,659.

An Illinois State University study ranks Oklahoma last of the 50 states in the percentage change in state support for higher education from FY 2012 to FY 2017.

Nationally Recognized Affordability

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks Oklahoma’s system of higher education fifth in the nation in affordability, and the National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average student cost at a four-year public university in Oklahoma is fourth-lowest in the nation. U.S. News and World Report ranks Oklahoma tuition and fees as seventh-lowest in the nation and student debt at graduation as 10th-lowest in the nation.

Students Who Learn Here Earn Here

A student with a college degree will earn $1.1 million more in a lifetime than a high school graduate. Eighty-seven percent of Oklahoma residents who graduate with a bachelor’s degree remain in the state and are employed in the state one year after graduation.

Source: 2017 Employment Outcomes Report.

Oklahoma's Promise

The state system of higher education strongly supports keeping the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship, which provides college funding for approximately 18,000 students, intact as an access program. Over 80,000 Oklahoma students have met the eligibility requirements and earned the scholarship since the program’s inception.

Workforce and Economic Impact of Public Higher Education

Governor Mary Fallin’s Oklahoma Works and Launch Oklahoma initiatives are designed to bridge the skills gap between our current workforce and workforce needs. By 2020, 67 percent of jobs in Oklahoma will require a college degree or additional postsecondary education and training, and 37 percent will require an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or higher. Oklahoma higher education links academic programs directly to employment needs in the state’s wealth-generating ecosystems, and degree and certificate production in critical STEM disciplines has increased 32 percent over the last six years.

Our public higher education system generates more than $9.2 billion in economic impacts. For every dollar of state appropriations invested in higher education, $4.72 is returned to Oklahoma’s economy.

Maintain Current Law on Weapons on Campus

Oklahoma higher education does not oppose the second amendment or gun ownership. Under current law, campus presidents have the discretion to grant exceptions to institutional policy when an exception is warranted. The current law is working.

In the past 10 legislative sessions, bills have either been introduced or discussed that would allow guns on campus. Each attempt has been successfully defeated to date, and ensuring similar legislation does not become law will continue to be a state system priority.

Impacts of Successive Years of Budget Cuts to Higher Education

FY 2019 Budget Need

FY 2018 Appropriation: $773,597,659

FY 2019 Budget Need:

  1. Degree Completion Programs and Initiatives: $107,000,000
    1. Instruction and Academic Enterprise Requirements: $84,500,000
    2. Facility Renovation/Physical Plant Maintenance: $14,500,000
    3. Institutional Scholarships: $8,000,000

  2. Financial Aid Programs: $18,400,000
    1. Restoration of Scholarship Programs: $7,600,000
    2. Full Funding of Concurrent Enrollment Program: $10,800,000

  3. Special Programs and Shared Services: $2,900,000
    1. Shared Services: $1,350,000
    2. Grants and Federal Matching Funds: $830,000
    3. Summer Academies and Student Preparation Programs: $480,000
    4. Degree Completion and Teacher Shortage Incentives: $240,000

FY 2019 Total Budget Need: $901,897,659


Dr. Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor

LeeAnna McNally, Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education