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Oklahoma State University

Message from President Hargis

Thu, April 13, 2017
Campus Scene

OSU community,

As you probably know, the President has released his federal budget priorities. While it is far from a finished budget, it proposes drastic cuts to many areas of research vital to Oklahoma State University’s mission. Such cuts would severely impact OSU’s research in science and innovation.

Federal funding is roughly half of our extramural research support, accordingly, we are taking the White House proposals seriously. If this budget were enacted, we estimate that OSU could experience a 25 percent drop in overall federal funding. We also understand that there is discussion of sharply reducing compensation for indirect costs, which would have serious budget implications for OSU. 

Action on the federal budget now moves to Congress. There, we hope that a budget framework will be adopted that maintains existing support for science and innovation. OSU Vice President for Research Kenneth Sewell is monitoring developments and is in close contact with our representatives in Washington, D.C. We are confident that the Oklahoma delegation members see the value in scientific research and in Oklahoma’s research universities, and are optimistic that they will legislate accordingly.

As the Congressional budget process unfolds, I have asked Provost Gary Sandefur and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Joe Weaver to work closely with Kenneth as he monitors the situation, and to determine how OSU can best respond. They will keep the campus community informed of any OSU-specific impacts and our response.

I wholeheartedly agree with MIT President Rafael Reif, who stated in a recent letter to his faculty, “America's strength in science and engineering is central to America's strength, period. It's how we keep the nation safe, drive innovation, build infrastructure, power and connect our modern society, restore the environment, create new industries, feed our people, heal the sick – and understand the universe.”

OSU’s ability to contribute to our nation’s strength by fulfilling our land-grant mission depends upon fully integrating research with instruction and outreach. Support of science and innovation is imperative.

Thanks for your contributions to OSU’s scholarly work. I encourage each member of the OSU community to do what you can to help us voice our concerns and promote our research mission. 

Burns Hargis

President, Oklahoma State University