Oklahoma colleges added more than 14,000 new students over the past four years, creating demand for more classes, faculty and materials.
Despite the higher enrollment numbers, the state has reduced spending on higher education by 8.5 percent over the past five years, said Glen Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State System for Higher Education.
Johnson said that the state Regents are asking the Legislature to provide more money for colleges in the coming fiscal year, but even if lawmakers fully fund the Regents’ budget proposal, the higher education system will still have less money than it did in 2008.
“We have retrenched significantly, and we’ve retrenched at a time when we’ve had more students in the system than ever before,” Johnson said.
The chancellor spoke about the Regents’ budget proposal and other issues during the Ada Rotary Club’s weekly meeting which took place Wednesday at the Aldridge Building.
The Regents are seeking an allocation of nearly $1.05 billion for the coming fiscal year which includes approximately $90.4 million in new dollars. The overall request represents a 9.5 percent increase from last year’s allocation of $955 million.
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