During the meeting, held on the OU Health Sciences Center campus, the Regents approved the university’s fiscal year 2023 budget. Developed through collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and academic and executive leadership, the FY23 budget aims to support the university’s efforts to advance and thrive while striking a balance with providing a top-tier, affordable education. To help drive these solutions, the university will raise tuition and mandatory fees 3% for out-of-state students enrolled in Norman campus programs. There will not be an increase for in-state students.
“The new budget positions OU to keep pursuing unparalleled levels of excellence while continuing to be a life-changing place of opportunity for our students,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “At OU, we take seriously the contributions we are asking of our students and families, and we’ve taken deliberate steps to mitigate the impact – especially for our students who are in the most need by increasing our investment in those individuals.”
In his remarks, Harroz noted that the university, as outlined in its Strategic Plan, is committed to making an OU education available to all.
“We have a plan to substantially increase the availability of need-based aid, which has grown more than 48% in the last five years, so that students who have the ability to succeed and excel also have the opportunity,” he said.
The Regents also ratified the interim approval of the OU Polytechnic Institute, a new school in Tulsa with bachelor’s completion and graduate degree programs focused on innovation and advanced technology.
Originally announced at the May Board of Regents meeting, the new institute will align OU’s educational and research capabilities with the workforce needs and opportunities of northeastern Oklahoma’s growing and dynamic economy and will offer innovative programs to fill vital, high-paying jobs in areas like telehealth, autonomous technology, elective vehicles, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and software engineering.
“This innovative school will rank as one of the most ambitious and game-changing investments ever made in Tulsa,” Harroz said. “The school’s cutting-edge curriculum – developed with industry partners – will focus on applied knowledge, quickly making the region a hub for growth and new jobs.”
The ratified proposal will now go before the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for final approval.
Also during the meeting, the Board of Regents approved the expansion and renovation of various facilities on the Norman and Health Sciences Center campuses, including the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, the Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense Innovations Institute and the Radar Innovations Assembly Building 2. Combined, the projects will provide nearly 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities, helping the university support key workforce needs for Oklahoma.
“One of our most important obligations is to fuel economic vitality for our state,” Harroz said. “By capitalizing on our areas of academic strength – which includes nursing, engineering and advanced radar technology – we can provide a talent pipeline to strategically enhance our state’s workforce. This not only helps ensure our graduates have the best opportunities for job placement, it also strengthens Oklahoma’s future.”
The Board of Regents also approved the budget for OU’s new softball stadium, Love’s Field – a project supported by a gift from the Love Family and Love’s Travel Stops. A fitting tribute to the record-setting success of Coach Patty Gasso and the softball program’s remarkable run of six national championships, the new complex will provide approximately 42,750 square feet of space and include locker rooms, training facilities, sports medicine, recovery facilities, fan amenities, competition lighting, scoreboard and parking. Scheduled to open for the 2024 season, Love’s Field is expected to double capacity, providing seating for approximately 3,000 fans.
Also approved by the Regents during the meeting were benefit plan changes and leave enhancements that will help the university attract and retain employees and remain competitive in the job market. The revised plan includes the addition of two annual university holidays, a paid parental leave program and adjustments to retirement plan options for benefits-eligible employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2023.
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.