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OU regents approve $2B budget with no tuition increase

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Posted at 7:30 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 20:30:04-04

NORMAN, Okla. — The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents on Tuesday approved a FY20 budget that keeps undergraduate tuition and fees flat for a second consecutive year and provides faculty and staff salary increases. The recommended staff salary program will be the first for the Norman campus in five years.

Tuition has remained flat since 2017, OU said in a news release.

“We presented to our Board of Regents an annual budget that is financially sound and makes new investments in the pursuit of our University’s mission," Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. said. "The progress this University has made in the past year is significant and our faculty and staff deserve recognition for their focus and commitment to putting students first as we have worked toward financial health."

Tuition and mandatory fees will remain flat for the second year in a row with a realization of recurring savings of $50 million at the Norman campus. Undergraduate in-state tuition remains at $159.60 per credit hour. Non-resident tuition will remain at $512.70 per credit hour. Tuition and fees at the Health Sciences Center will increase for five professional programs, in the setting of rising healthcare costs, which were alleviated through a $9.5 million in overall savings. Tuition and mandatory fee increases require approval by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“Students are the biggest winner in this year’s budget as we once again held the line on tuition and fee increases. This was achievable in part because of increased state support. To that end, we are grateful to Governor Stitt and the Legislature for investing in higher education this past session. Additionally, the financial discipline of our administration has produced savings which support our efforts to make sure the excellence of an OU education is accessible and we have the resources necessary to support student success.” said Board of Regents Chairman Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes.

The recommended OU FY20 budget is $2.02 billion and includes $983 million for the Norman campus and $1.04 billion for the HSC campus. The budget is designed to balance resource constraints with short- and long-term needs. The new budget includes a recommendation for a 3 percent salary program on average for eligible Norman staff, as well as compensation for staff at the HSC. In addition to a 2.6 percent annualized faculty salary increase on the Norman campus from January 2019, it also incorporates support from the Legislature for an additional 2.2 percent annualized faculty salary increase on the Norman campus and an annualized increase at HSC.

The university says the most recent faculty salary increases were made possible in the last legislative session through increased higher education appropriations. Both are proposed for October. A recommendation to increase stipends for graduate students and a reduction of fees for research-oriented graduate programs reflects OU’s continued emphasis on growing its research activity to support Oklahoma’s economy. OU Human Resources is determining the timeline and guidelines for instigating the process.

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