The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents met today to approve the expansion of OU’s computer science program, the online delivery of several degree programs, a request to pursue a utility savings and other items.
During the meeting, held on the OU Health Sciences Center campus, the Board granted approval for the expansion of the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program to also offer the degree at the OU-Tulsa campus. The Board also approved the addition of a fully online Master of Arts in Nutritional Sciences, which will provide advanced nutritional expertise to a more diverse student population across the nation. The Regents also approved an online delivery option for two existing programs – the Master of Human Relations and a graduate certificate in clinical and translational sciences.
“We are committed to the democratization of an OU degree and we have a strong tradition of serving learners across the globe,” said OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. “Offering these programs in new, innovative ways broadens our students’ ability to obtain an OU education, no matter their distance from our physical campuses. By harnessing the power of technology, we can provide more accessible paths to these degrees, benefiting people and communities worldwide.”
Also during today’s meeting, the Regents authorized the University to submit a request to state leaders seeking approval to pursue at least $4.4 million in annual utility savings. The projected savings – made possible by the issuance of general, limited and special obligation bonds – will follow the University’s recent and ongoing dramatic cost-saving efforts.
“In the past 18 months, we have made huge strides in restoring our University’s fiscal health,” Harroz said. “In FY19, we had $50 million in savings, and this year we are working to realize an additional $25 million. Those efforts have enabled us to continue to provide an affordable and excellent education for our students, keeping tuition flat for the past two years, providing needed faculty and staff pay raises, hiring new world-class faculty, and more. This utility savings is another creative solution we have put forth to build on our cost savings.”
If approved by Oklahoma state leadership, the plan will enable the University to internally fund and operate Norman campus utilities, providing the financing to support capital improvements of the utility system.
Harroz also summarized OU’s research activities from July to November 2019, reporting that the University’s total research expenditures in that time frame increased $9.5 million, or 7.9%, from 2018 – due primarily to increased expenditures on grants obtained from the federal government and because of an increase in sponsored awards.
The next meeting of the OU Board of Regents is currently set for March 10-11.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit www.ou.edu.