By Evan James Edler
State support for Oklahoma’s public colleges has decreased by $241 million over the last eight years.
Recent reports projecting a revenue shortfall in excess of $870 million from Oklahoma’s Department of Finance seem to indicate that next year’s budget will bring yet another cut to state funding for higher education and more tough decisions for SWOSU’s administration to make.
“For roughly the last 10 years, we have lost over 60 percent of our state funding,” SWOSU President Randy Beutler estimated.
When asked about how SWOSU’s administration is coping with Oklahoma’s budgeting issues, President Beutler emphasized efforts the create revenue and save money.
He mentioned recruitment and retention as one of the administration’s key focuses in regard to increasing revenue.
“Those are two of our really big issues that we work on, we’re very lucky in that our enrollment has been up the last two semesters,” Beutler said.
President Beutler said “modest” raises in tuition and potential adjustments to the salaries of faculty and staff as ways of saving SWOSU money in the future.
Using a reserve of “one-time money” that the administration put aside in order to protect the university from a failure in the state’s budget is another possible avenue.