Oklahoma owes $150M in pay to college faculty

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma owes $150 million in salary matches for college faculty about a decade after a push to eliminate the backlog in matching funds.

The Oklahoman reports that about 60 percent of the unpaid funds from the endowed chairs program are owed to the Oklahoma State University system.

The endowed chairs program began in 1988 to support faculty chairs and professorships at Oklahoma's 25 public colleges and universities.

The Legislature approved a $100 million bond issue in 2008 to catch up on a backlog of donations that were waiting for the state's matching funds. Lawmakers also placed a $5 million annual limit on the fund.

OSU President Burns Hargis says the university has to make up the difference to pay faculty who were hired for the endowed chair positions.

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