In The Know: University of Oklahoma increasing tuition and fees 7 percent

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

University of Oklahoma increasing tuition and fees 7 percent: The University of Oklahoma plans to increase tuition and fees by 7 percent to help offset state budget cuts. OU said Tuesday that the increase will offset about one-third of the estimated $35 million decrease in state funding to campuses in Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. OU said voluntary retirements, salary cuts of 3 percent for top leaders, a reduction of faculty and staff by attrition and changes in retirement programs are also reducing costs [Associated Press].

OU cuts $14.4M from HSC, Tulsa campus budgets: The University of Oklahoma is cutting $14.4 million to its medical research and education campuses in Oklahoma City and in Tulsa. The reduction, which was announced Tuesday, is part of a $35 million funding decrease to the OU system, including $20.3 million less to the Norman campus. The OU Board of Regents accepted the fiscal year 2017 budget at a Tuesday meeting [Journal Record].

After two revenue failures, Oklahoma will end the year with surplus. What? This weekend, The Oklahoman reported the unexpected news that state finance officials now expect to end the current fiscal year with a cash surplus of at least $100 million. After two mid-year revenue failures that led to across-the-board budget cuts of 7 percent, many people are left wondering what in the world is going on. Here’s the explanation [OK Policy].

OKC district to change start, end times for some schools: Seven schools in the Oklahoma City School District will start and end school later beginning Aug. 1, a move officials say will save the district $700,000 in transportation costs. The schools affected by the change are: Classen School of Advanced Studies and Capitol Hill, Cleveland, Horace Mann, Kaiser, Mark Twain and Westwood elementary schools [NewsOK].

Second opinion: OHCA reverses decision to cut nurse from SoonerCare: The state’s Medicaid agency has reversed its decision to terminate provider status for a Moore clinic and nurse. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority had sought to end SoonerCare reimbursements to advanced practice registered nurse Rebecca Carter. The OHCA also sent similar letters to Moore Primary Care and Moore Family Medicine Associates, two entities operating as a clinic where Carter works [Journal Record].

Former Senate leader sentenced on bribery charge: The last Democrat to lead the Oklahoma Senate was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for bribery after a federal prosecutor urged a judge to send a message to other attorneys serving in the Legislature that public corruption is a serious crime. Former Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan was resentenced in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City after a federal appeals court found his original sentence of probation was too lenient [Associated Press].

Bank employee faces teacher in race for House District 30 post: Two Republicans are running for the House District 30 seat vacated by Rep. Mark McCullough. McCullough, R-Sapulpa, chose not to seek another term. Bank employee Mark Lawson of Sapulpa faces teacher Mike Gambill of Kiefer. The winner of Tuesday’s primary will take the seat because no Democrat, Libertarian or independent filed for the post [Tulsa World].

Fmr. beauty queen, reality-TV star among SD 13 hopefuls: As Sen. Susan Paddack (D-Ada) exits her District 13 seat owing to term limits, a diverse cast of candidates has emerged with hopes to take her place. In a nutshell, the Republican candidates have enough references to God, guns and (smaller) government to feed a herd of cattle, while Democrats hope to parlay a focus on education into victory [NonDoc].

Democratic Legislators Accuse Governor of Revenge in Lack of Water Board Appointment: Governor Mary Fallin’s failure to appoint a southeastern Oklahoman to the Region 9 seat on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board prompted four legislators to ask for an Attorney General’s opinion this week. The four Democrats also accuse the Republican governor of seeking revenge over a lawsuit filed in a water fight. Representatives Brian Renegar and Donnie Condit of McAlester, Johnny Tadlock of Idabel and Ed Cannaday of Porum made their request in a letter to Attorney General Scott Pruitt [OK Energy Today].

Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger cited for driving with revoked license: Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger is asking a court to modify the 180-day revocation of his driver’s license. The revocation began June 8, according to records. Doerflinger pleaded no contest in 2015 in Oklahoma City municipal court to a charge of being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol [Tulsa World].

Quote of the Day

“It is clear that we cannot continue to achieve excellence in the future without state financing playing a greater role. The state’s share of the cost of educating students at OU has fallen from 32 percent from 20 years ago to 12 percent today. The people of Oklahoma must decide if they are willing to invest in the education of the next generation. Education, not ignorance, is the pathway to a better future.”

-OU President David Boren (Source)

Number of the Day


Total of court fees added to the $10 fine for speeding 1-10 mph over the limit in Oklahoma.

Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

The overtime rule is the beginning of a much-needed cultural shift: A recent New York Times piece features some choice handwringing over the Labor Department’s new overtime rule, from executives in “prestigious” fields, like publishing, advertising, film and TV, and public relations. These are all fields where low-salaried junior employees are often encouraged or even expected to work well over 40 hours a week, and the executives quoted by the Times are worried that they will no longer be able to expect such long hours without paying overtime [Economic Policy Institute].

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Ryan Gentzler worked at OK Policy from January 2016 until November 2022. He last served as the organization's Reserach Director and oversaw Open Justice Oklahoma. He began at OK Policy as an analyst focusing on criminal justice issues, including sentencing, incarceration, court fines and fees, and pretrial detention. Open Justice Oklahoma grew out of Ryan’s groundbreaking analysis of court records, which was used to inform critical policy debates. A native Nebraskan, he holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a BA in Institutions and Policy from William Jewell College. He served as an OK Policy Research Fellow in 2014-2015.

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