During the meeting, held on the OU Health Sciences Center campus, the Regents approved the university’s fiscal year 2022 budget. Driven by the university’s strategic plan for the future, the FY22 budget will continue to fund a transformative student experience and world-class teaching and research. To help support OU’s strategic priorities, the budget will raise tuition and mandatory fees for Norman campus programs for the first time in four years, with an increase of 2.75%.
“This is never an easy decision, and we don’t make it lightly,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “This year’s increase will significantly support our strategic plan, which defines our vision for the university’s long-term sustainability and success. At the heart of our strategic plan is the student experience and our obligation to prepare students for success and positive impact. Continuing this commitment for future generations requires us all to share in the contributions and efforts to achieve it.”
In his remarks, Harroz noted that, as detailed in the strategic plan, the university wants to ensure it can continue to fund a transformative student experience through world-class teaching and research.
“As part of the strategic plan, we will expand our student services, enhance academic programs, fund innovative research, invest in hiring new faculty and more. Many of these investments are long overdue, but all we believe, will sustain OU’s excellence for generations.”
Harroz also added that OU is one of only two public universities in the state that has not raised undergraduate tuition since the 2017-2018 academic year. Throughout that time, the university identified and saved nearly $65 million on a recurring basis from the Norman campus operating budget.
The Regents also approved the definitive agreement to merge the College of Medicine’s faculty practice, OU Health Physicians, with OU Health hospitals. The merging of the hospitals, clinics and faculty practice into one unified organization creates Oklahoma’s first truly integrated, comprehensive academic health system.
“Today’s vote by the Board of Regents is a historic day for health care in Oklahoma,” Harroz said. “For the first time, patients will move seamlessly between the clinical offices of the state’s largest and most specialized physicians, OU Physicians, to the hospital in which they operate – all while receiving research-driven care available nowhere else in Oklahoma. This will undoubtedly improve outcomes, provide unequaled patient care and amplify our research that benefits countless other patients and helps drive our state’s economy.”
The merged organization will create a seamless experience for patients between clinics and hospitals, improve overall quality of care, infuse research breakthroughs into care plans and improve Oklahoma’s ability to attract and retain the brightest minds across the national health care landscape. As a result of the merger, the OU Health Sciences Center, through its new affiliation agreement with OU Health, is poised to dramatically increase its health care research activity and better meet the growing demand for educating and training more health care professionals in Oklahoma.
“This merger of equals into a single enterprise will bring immense benefits to the patients we serve, Oklahoma, and our students and employees,” Harroz said. “Uniting the strengths of these organizations will give Oklahomans the true flagship academic health system that our state needs. In the past, Oklahomans have traveled to other states to find treatment options fueled by the innovation that comes when researchers and physicians work side-by-side in academic hospital settings. Now that model will be available in the heart of Oklahoma under the OU banner.”
The board is set to next meet in September.
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.