The conversation about higher education funding in Oklahoma seems to have a different tone than it has in Kansas.
After the regents at the University of Oklahoma approved a 5 percent tuition increase at the school last week, the Associated Press reported comments by OU President David Boren. Like most university leaders, Boren said his school had done its best to avoid tuition increases, but after absorbing about $80 million in fixed-costs increases in the last three years, “it’s just impossible to do something with nothing.”
However, rather than point fingers at state lawmakers for the school’s funding woes, as many in Kansas have done, Boren took a different tack. He thanked Gov. Mary Fallin and Republican leaders in the state legislature for their concern and for having an “open door” to listen to his request for more funding.
Then, he went a step further. “I know that as the economy continues to recover, they’ll do all that they can to help us sort of dig back out of the hole,” Boren said, “and hopefully over the next couple of years get back to not where we would like to be but just get back to where we were in 2008 because we’re a long way from where we were at that time.”
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