Higher Education

OCPA condemns OU tuition hike

Staff | June 19, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 19, 2023)—Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs President Jonathan Small said the recent tuition hike approved by OU is unjustified and shows the university is not serious about its mission of providing a quality, affordable education to Oklahomans.

“It is absurd that OU has chosen to hike tuition in a year when more than $1 billion was appropriated to state colleges, at the same time that OU is spending its financial resources in court to keep the public from viewing a taxpayer-funded report on alleged decades of false claims about the school’s fundraising, and at the same time OU is maintaining a pointless and divisive ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ regime and paying a man $18,000 to perform at the state’s largest drag-queen show,” Small said.

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents approved a 3% increase in tuition last week that compounds the 2.75% hike in 2021 and the 3% increase in tuition for out-of-state students in 2022.

The tuition increase came after the Legislature provided more than $1 billion to state colleges, which was a 14.9% increase and the largest increase in recent history.

OU is fighting in court to keep the public from viewing two taxpayer-funded reports done for the university by the Jones Day law firm that examined alleged misreporting on alumni donor data to U.S. News and World Report and allegations that former OU President David Boren sexually harassed aides. OU spent $1 million in taxpayer funds on the two reports.

Small praised state Senators Adam Pugh, Kristen Thompson, and Ally Seifried for their leadership in challenging OU’s unwarranted tuition increase, and said lawmakers have options to bring OU in line with the expectations of the citizens that the university is supposed to serve.

“It’s time for the Legislature to pass a moratorium on tuition and fee increases and prohibit any more funding to any college that operates DEI divisions,” Small said. “And the Legislature should sue OU for the Jones Day reports.”


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