| June 14, 2012

OCPA fellow: Give governor, legislature power over higher ed

The key to Gov. Scott Walker’s success, writes law professor Andrew Spiropoulos, “is his understanding that a reform-minded governor and legislature must focus on transforming the structure of state and local government. If you get the structure right, good policy results will follow” (emphasis added).

Spiropoulos, who serves as OCPA’s Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow, has pressed this point for years. And he’s right to say that this emphasis on structure would serve us well in Oklahoma, especially in the area of higher education.

Many of us, for example, are concerned about the ballooning spending, for too little benefit, in our state system of higher education. Rather than expending scarce political capital on budget or tuition increase fights, we would be better advised to reform the governing structure of higher education. Instead of a board of regents and a chancellor not accountable to any official responsible to the people, we should create a new governing structure that provides a sitting governor and legislature the power to supervise the management and finance of our system of higher education. If you don’t like how someone is using their power, rather than bloodying yourself in pointless skirmishes with them, isn’t it better just to take it away?

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