The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Southeastern Regional Legislative Tour was Jan. 17. Dr. Brandon R. Webb, Carl Albert State College President, four members of the CASC Board of Regents, and several CASC staff members attended the meeting in Krebs.
Approximately 100 guests were in attendance, including personnel from colleges and universities in the region, as well as several Oklahoma legislators. Dr. Glen Johnson, Chancellor of the Oklahoma State System for Higher Education, was the keynote speaker at the meeting.
In his presentation, Johnson noted the cost saving measures the Oklahoma institutions of higher education have implemented over the past several years in an effort to deal with budget issues. He also pointed out that Oklahoma has been one of the states with the lower tuition and mandatory fee increases across the nation, despite budget cuts.
Johnson explained that Oklahoma has seen record fall enrollment in recent years in higher-education institutions. He went on to state that the “Complete College America” program will play a key role in Oklahoma over the coming years as the program has set a goal of increasing degrees and certificates in Oklahoma by 1,700 per year between 2011 and 2023.
He reminded the audience that in the global economy of the 21st century, statistics show 90 percent of the fastest growing jobs will require a higher education. He shared the numbers relating to how education and training pay over a lifetime, and that 89 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.
In closing, Johnson emphasized that nationally, Oklahoma is ranked eighth in higher education efficiency, and eighth in college affordability.