Higher Education

OU’s Gallogly points out inefficiency, ineffectiveness in higher ed

August 22, 2018

Trent England

Oklahoma’s public higher education system isn’t working for many students. This was the message from new University of Oklahoma president James Gallogly at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s annual State of the Schools event.

During his speech, which was covered by The Oklahoman, Gallogly pointed to the difference between the state’s number of institutions versus its graduation rates.

The state is No. 1 in the number of institutions per 1 million residences and No. 2 in the number of institutions per 10,000 full-time-equivalent students, but five from the bottom when it comes to graduation rates.

"We have a very dispersed effort in higher education," he said.

Officials statewide are taking a hard look to figure out what needs to be corrected to fix higher education in the state of Oklahoma, he said.

Gallogly is right to examine higher education this way. It is common sense that the best system will produce high-quality results at a low cost. The politics of government programs, however, often means that success gets measured by how much you spend, whose friends you hire, and how many buildings you build in as many legislative districts as possible. It is a credit to OU’s regents that they hired a clear-eyed outsider who wants to shift the focus back to students.

For years, OCPA has pointed out the bloat in our state’s higher education system. OCPA has also released a long listof common-sense higher education reforms.