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OSU Set to Begin Unprecedented Building Period
TULSA – The Oklahoma State University System will soon be in the midst of an unprecedented capital improvement period, with nearly $309.8 million worth of construction projects, either planned or already underway. Speaking at a regular meeting of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents at OSU-Tulsa on Friday, OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly said that OSU is entering a building period unmatched in its history, with current or planned construction projects worth more than $253.8 million for academics and student needs and $56 million in improvements for athletics. “For the next three to five years, OSU will build a record number of outstanding facilities that will help us achieve our goal of becoming a top 75 comprehensive research institution,” Schmidly said. “From academics to research to athletics, OSU will be a much different and much improved university for our students, faculty and staff.” Schmidly told regents that the OSU System will receive $108.1 million from the 2005 Higher Education Bond issue and has identified an additional $52.7 million to supplement the bond issue and pay for additional improvements and new facilities on its campuses. OSU also has an additional $149 million in current construction projects and other planned improvements that are being paid for with funds from other state, private and federal sources. “Higher education is vital to the people of Oklahoma and our state’s future success,” Schmidly said. “These projects are smart investments, and we are committed to getting the most out of the dollars that will be given to us. We also have been fortunate in finding additional resources to put together a comprehensive plan to improve educational and research facilities at all of our campuses.” At OSU-Tulsa, for example, $12.9 million in bond issue money is helping to pay for a $41.49-million Advanced Technology Research Center (ATRC), with site work scheduled to start in late August. Additional funds are coming from the city of Tulsa’s Vision 2025 bonds. The center will focus on the development of next generation composites and materials for industries such as aerospace, biotechnology, telecommunications and manufacturing. Scheduled for completion in the Summer, 2007, the ATRC will create new jobs and attract new industries to the Tulsa region. The center will produce an annual payroll of about $4 million and attract an additional $5-6 million of federal and private research funds, annually. Following Schmidly’s remarks, regents gave OSU the go-ahead to begin the process of selecting design firms and taking other preliminary steps for $90.8 million in bond issue projects and $23 million in other projects that will be funded by state, federal and private sources. These include: A $70.3-million interdisciplinary Science and Technology Center that will dramatically improve OSU’s research capabilities by providing state-of-the-art laboratories and other research space. The funding also will renovate and update existing laboratories that are vacated by scientists who move into the new center. The center will be paid for with $66.3 million in bond proceeds and the rest from other sources. The planned location is west of the Physical Sciences building near Monroe Street. A $20-million Multi-Modal Transportation facility that will serve as a transportation hub for the OSU campus and regional users. The facility, on the northeast corner of Hall of Fame and Monroe Streets, will be paid for with $15 million in Federal Transit Administration funds and $5 million in user and parking fees. A $7-million classroom building that will be built in partnership with Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) on the north side of the OSU campus. NOC has pledged $3 million of its bond issue money for the building, and OSU will use $1 million from the bond issue and $3 million from other sources for the project. A $3.5-million Public Safety Training Facility at OSU-Oklahoma City that will consist of new training areas to enhance and expand existing academic programs in police, fire, emergency medical services and emergency management. Funding will come from the bond issue and other sources. A $3-million project to renovate Old Central for the OSU Honors College. Funding will be provided by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Capital Lease Program. A $4-million project to renovate and improve the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. Funding will come from the bond issue. A $6-million Rural Health Science and Technology Center at OSU-Okmulgee, with total funding from bond proceeds. The center will contain laboratories, classrooms and offices for applied research, technology transfer, technical education and clinical residency. Still in the planning stages are $70 million in additional OSU-System bond issue projects, including the renovation of Murray Hall at OSU-Stillwater. The $16-million Murray Hall project will convert the former residence hall into modern classrooms, computer laboratories, offices, and auditoriums. According to OSU Provost and Senior Vice President Marlene Strathe, a majority of Murray Hall will be assigned to departments within the OSU College of Arts & Sciences; however, faculty from other colleges may use facilities in the building and will teach in general university classrooms. She said a planning committee is determining the optimum space utilization for the building. Also in the planning stage is a $12.4-million upgrade of the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory that will be funded by a special legislative appropriation. Construction already underway at OSU includes $61 million in new student housing and the $56-million Phase Two modernization of Boone Pickens Stadium.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
OSU moves forward in search for VP for athletics
TULSA -- Oklahoma State University announced plans for moving forward with its national search for a new director of athletics at today’s Board of Regents meeting. The search will begin on August 1 and will be completed as soon as possible. In an important step, the OSU Board approved a change in the athletic director title that better reflects the executive responsibilities of the position and the seamless interaction expected with the executive leadership of the University. The new title is Vice President for Athletic Programs and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. To help conduct the search, the University announced a 15-member search advisory committee of OSU faculty, administrators, students, and supporters, which will be chaired by John Clerico of Tulsa. The consulting firm of Eastman & Beaudine, Inc. has been retained to assist with the search. “We are accelerating the process to conduct a national search and are very pleased with the level of interest we have received,” said OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly. “We are moving forward and we are excited about the future of OSU athletics." Vice President for Athletic Programs and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Search Advisory Committee Chariman -- John Clerico, businessman Bobby Stillwell, businessman Ross McKnight, businessman Kay Norris, OSU Heritage Hall volunteer Joe Hall, OSU A&M regent Jay Helm, OSU A&M regent Al Goodbary, OSU System chief of staff John Fernandes, president, OSU Center for Health Sciences Cornell Thomas, OSU VP for Institutional Diversity Gerald Lage, OSU Faculty Athletic Representative Marilyn Middlebrook , OSU associate athletic director of academic services John Smith, OSU head wrestling coach Ashland Watson, OSU student athlete Gary Clark, OSU Foundation Don Murray, OSU Faculty Council
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
Teaching Technique Makes OSU English Language Program a National Leader
As one of the first programs in the nation to develop part of its master's curriculum around a new teaching method called a “simulation,” Oklahoma State University’s Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program is considered a national leader in teaching English to second language learners. Combining real world situations with the traditional classroom experience, simulations encourage students to practice their natural language skills by participating in situations that mimic real-life situations, such as a court room proceeding or town meeting. According to Dr. Gene Halleck, associate professor in OSU's TESL program, simulations are ideal for language instruction because they offer the student a minimal amount of emotional risk. She says students are less nervous playing roles because they aren’t afraid to be embarrassed if they make a mistake. A group of OSU graduate students recently got some first-hand experience with the technique when they traveled with Halleck to Tianjin, China and Takasaki, Japan. While there, they conducted simulation sessions with Chinese and Japanese university students who are second-year English majors. Discussions about panda preservation, the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs during the Olympics and the ethics of whale hunting were featured during simulation sessions. Emily Blackshear, a first year graduate student from Paragould, Arkansas, was one of the OSU students who went to China. Blackshear says the teaching method is very effective because students take the role playing so seriously. “They are very committed to the technique, so they really got into their roles,” she said. “Some of them had a hard time getting out of the roles, and sometimes the discussions got a little heated.” However, Blackshear says the passion for the role playing is a good thing because students feel more of a connection to a language if they are investing their emotions. “I would say that 90 percent of our students in both countries were happy with their experience and would like simulations incorporated into their classroom experience,” she said. “The best simulations are based on an issue the student has a direct interest in,” says Halleck. “Many English classes that are taught in other countries are teacher-centered, rather than student-centered.  By introducing simulations we are attempting to 'de-classroom' the instruction."  Halleck says OSU has been leading the way in simulation research since the mid-90s when it was one of the first programs in the nation to design the curriculum of its international composition courses around simulations. A seminar in simulation and gaming is also offered through the graduate program which is rare for any department much less English ones, Halleck said. Dr. Carol Moder, head of OSU's English department, says the program is strong because of its progressive minded faculty and graduate students. In fact, the program is so well regarded that only two of the six students who went to China were from Oklahoma. Similar to Blackshear, OSU-Tulsa student Jessica Hampton also traveled from out of state to attend OSU's TESL program. Hampton, a first-year graduate student from Connecticut, says she chose OSU for its strong TESL program. "Working with faculty who are on the cutting edge of a hot new research field was one of the many reasons I chose OSU," said Hampton. "Along with the research, our program is proactive in taking its students overseas to teach in foreign classrooms. Having hands on experience especially in classrooms overseas makes me even more marketable as an OSU graduate." Halleck says the program’s future is bright because English remains the dominant language of commerce in the world. “English will continue to be important because it is used all over the world for business between persons who do not share a first language,” she says. “For example, a person who sells fish in Finland uses English to communicate with his customers in Germany or France, just as a businessman in Asia uses English to communicate with other businessmen in the region who do not share his first language. Our graduates who teach English to the world will continue to find great opportunities.”
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
Grad student participates in NASA summer program
An Oklahoma State University physics student working on the university’s development of a radiation sensor for astronauts was part of an international group of researchers chosen to examine deep space travel-related health issues for NASA this summer. Second-year Ph.D. student Gabriel Sawakuchi was among 15 participants in the 2005 NASA Summer Student program held at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. Bringing together physicists and biological scientists and centered on topics such as the effects of deep-space radiation on humans and the dangers of developing cancer during long voyages, the programs’ purpose is to steer researchers into the emerging field of space radiobiology. “We need to better understand the effects of ionizing radiation found in long-distance and long-term space flights, and how to best shield against it,” said Dr. Marcelo E. Vazquez, medical scientist at Brookhaven Lab and co-director of the NASA Summer Student program. “There is a strong need for scientists dedicated exclusively to this field who will ask the best questions and seek good answers.” The program is sponsored by NASA and coordinated by Brookhaven Lab, Loma Linda University Medical Center and a consortium of universities, research organizations and governmental agencies called the Universities Space Research Association. Students participate in both classroom activities and scientific experiments, working side-by-side with top space scientists. Experimental creativity and interdisciplinary approaches are emphasized.  “One branch of science cannot provide adequate answers to the complex questions raised by space radiation,” Vazquez said. “So we actively seek the most talented investigators and emerging scientists from a range of disciplines who will learn a range of techniques and approaches that will enable them to make an impact in this growing field.”  Sawakuchi is a member of the team of researchers exploring new applications for the radiation sensor pioneered by OSU’s physics department. Under the tutelage of Dr. Eduardo Yukihara, who along with Dr. Stephen McKeever oversees activities within OSU’s dosimeter laboratory at the Oklahoma Research and Technology Park, Sawakuchi is helping develop the sensor as a platform for a radiation detecting device for astronauts. “My Ph.D. project is related to the development of a device that can detect the complex radiation field found in space,” Sawakuchi said. “In the NASA summer school, the main topic was to understand the effects of radiation on cells and how it is related to mechanisms that may cause damage to DNA.” “Although the main subject of the NASA program was biology, it was a complement to what we’re doing at OSU, and I believe our work on space research here was the main reason I was chosen,” he said. The NASA Summer Student program, now in its second year, is held at Brookhaven Lab’s NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) and Medical Department. Studies at the NSRL focus on how the radiation can damage the central nervous system and other bodily systems – as well as how the intense rays may promote the development of cancer. NSRL researchers are also looking at ways to protect against these dangers through shielding and other strategies to minimize the risk to space travelers.   Operational since 2003, the NSRL is one of the few places in the world where the harsh cosmic and solar radiation found in space can be simulated. The lab employs beams of heavy ions extracted from Brookhaven’s booster accelerator, considered the best in the United States for studying the effects of radiation on living organisms. Scientists from more than 20 research institutions from throughout the nation and abroad work year-round at the facility to learn about the possible risks to space explorers exposed to deep-space radiation.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
Childcare program draws positive reviews and expansion hopes
Early childhood education experts at Oklahoma State University are hoping to expand a training program that received positive reviews when they presented it to almost 200 childcare licensing professionals across the state this summer.  “Many of the participants recommended that we offer the training to every professional child caregiver in Oklahoma and we eventually hope to offer something similar to parents,” says Dr. Barbara Sorrels, assistant professor of early childhood education at OSU-Tulsa. Sorrels and her colleague Faye Ann Presnal, both with the College of Human Environmental Sciences at OSU, developed and recently presented the training module to childcare licensing experts from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). “The program encourages child care providers to make the best use of materials and equipment that most of them already have on hand at their facilities,” says Sorrels. “We’re really talking about helping caregivers organize and use what they have to provide children with an optimal learning experience.” The program called “Creating Effective Learning Environments,” is based on research by Dr. Deborah Norris at OSU, which shows that focusing on five different ‘interest centers’ in a child care facility can help create a better environment for learning. The five centers include art, blocks, dramatic play, library and manipulatives (hands-on toys and games). “Quality care is directly related to the quality of training that care givers receive and that’s why we’re hoping to find avenues of funding so we can make this available on a voluntary basis to child caregivers throughout Oklahoma,” says Sorrels. State-of-the-art facilities and materials don’t necessarily indicate a quality environment and instead it is often the level of interactions between caregivers and children that determines real quality, according to Sorrels. “Appearances can be deceiving. That’s why we’d like to develop a parent version of the program, so that parents can understand what quality environments not only look like but how they can best support their child’s development.”The “Creating Effective Learning Environments,” is a training module developed to support a quality enhancement initiative known as “Reaching for the Stars.” The initiative awards child care facilities that meet and exceed state and national standards. For more information about the “Creating Effective Learning Environments” training module, contact Dr. Barbara Sorrels at 918-594-8169 or<
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:19:56 -0500
Equine West Nile Vaccines Effective; Humans Still Waiting
The Oklahoma State University veterinarian who diagnosed the first cases of the West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year says its occurrence in horses in the state appears to be in decline, due primarily to the proliferation of vaccinations. An inoculation for humans, however, remains under development.             The confirmation Thursday, July 7 of two horses in Comanche and Washita counties testing positive for the virus was the result of evaluations conducted on June 23 and June 28 by Dr. Jeremiah T. Saliki, a virologist at the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, a unit of the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Saliki and his staff analyzed blood samples submitted to the lab by two veterinarians who suspected the virus upon observing animals that demonstrated its clinical symptoms, such as staggering on the hind legs, uncontrollable muscle twitching and other central nervous system disorders.            According to Saliki, since the West Nile virus was first observed in Oklahoma in 2002, veterinarians have seen progressively smaller numbers of infected horses, and those that demonstrate its clinical symptoms often suffer less severely. He attributes both to widespread vaccinations that currently boast a rate of protection effectiveness approaching 94 percent. According to Saliki, no specific, equine treatment exists for the West Nile virus, but approximately 80 percent of horses that demonstrate its clinical symptoms and receive care return to normal, for the most part. Owners are strongly encouraged to get their horses vaccinated.  A few facts about the West Nile virus according to Dr. Saliki:Receptors possessed by humans, horses and many bird species allow them to be infected by the virus and determine their levels of susceptibility. The only way to contract the virus is to be bitten by a mosquito. The virus is spread almost entirely by mosquitoes that have bitten an infected bird. Transmission by a mosquito that has bitten an infected horse or human is unlikely because humans and horses are dead-end hosts. The virus cannot be contracted by interaction with infected humans or horses since they are dead-end hosts. To avoid infection, avoid mosquito bites. Tips include:Do not allow water to stand and stagnate around the house, e.g., in old tires. And aerate pools and ponds. If possible, avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Apply insect repellant and wear long pants and long sleeves.For more information, reporters may contact Dr. Jeremiah Saliki at OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at 405-744-6623.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:19:56 -0500
OSU Ranks High for American Indian Degrees
Oklahoma State University ranks first in the nation for numbers of degrees awarded to American Indians in agricultural sciences and biomedical sciences, according to Black Issues in Higher Education. The magazine recently published its annual report titled “100 Top Degree Producers – Undergraduate Degrees 2005.” The report ranks colleges for graduation rates of African American, Latino, Asian American and American Indian students. OSU was also recognized as the No. 2 producer for all American Indian bachelor degrees combined. Next to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OSU ranked second in the nation. The OSU-Stillwater campus also ranked in the top ten in seven other majors for minority degree producers, including psychology, engineering, education, business, literature and social sciences. OSU has a prestigious record for awarding degrees to American Indian students. OSU is first in the nation in the number of doctorates in the combined fields of psychology, engineering and science. It ranks second in the number of doctorates in psychology awarded to American Indians. A $750,000 grant announced this year supports a program that encourages American Indian students to pursue graduate degrees in psychology. As one of the few programs like it in the nation, the American Indians Into Psychology program at OSU has been continuously funded since 1997, with almost $2.1 million in funding. Dr. Pete Coser, American Indian coordinator at the OSU Multicultural Student Center, said OSU has made a concerted effort to recruit American Indian students for several years. “Our American Indian enrollment has been steady,” Coser said. “We do everything we can to inform our native communities that OSU is a good and supportive place to be.” Dr. Howard Shipp, director of the Multicultural Student Center, said OSU is making great strides in minority recruitment and retention. “We offer more than 10 different programs and departments that assist minorities to achieve their ultimate potential and eventually graduate,” Shipp said. “Seventeen percent of the OSU student body consists of minority undergraduates, with 1,662 American Indian students.” Offices that serve and help minority students at OSU include the Native American Faculty & Staff Association, the OSU American Indian Alumni Association, the Native Americans in Biological Sciences Project, the American Indians Into Psychology Project, the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, the Native American Student Association and the American Indian Society of Engineering Students. “While the current rankings are great news, we intend to continue building additional networks and organizations to help our American Indian and other minority students excel in their studies at OSU,” Shipp said.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:19:56 -0500
OSU Professors, Students, Examine Tsunami Aftermath
As the aftermath of the deadly Asian tsunami dragged on, a team of Oklahoma State University professors and graduate students visited a hard-hit Indian district to mark the locations of mass graves and examine how government officials and citizens coped with a disaster that most of us cannot imagine. Professors Brenda Phillips, David Neal and Tom Wikle, joined graduate research assistants Shireen Hyrapiet and Aswin Subanthore in Chennai, India, the state capital of the Tamil Nadu region and in Nagapattinam, where the tsunami claimed more than 6,000 of the total 10,000 human lives lost in India. The primary purpose was to determine how local authorities and citizens deal with mass casualties. Lead investigator Phillips, Neal and Hyrapiet are in OSU’s Fire and Emergency Management Program, which produces managers and administrators for the fire services and emergency management organizations. Wikle and Subanthore are in OSU’s Geography Department. Wikle, who is also associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, used GPS equipment to record the sites of mass graves where the victims were buried. Neal has studied natural and other disasters for more than 30 years, including the San Francisco earthquake and Hurricane Andrew. Both were major disasters, but Neal said the tsunami was an incomparable event. “You cannot plan for something on that scale,” Neal said. “Nobody does. Most disasters have less than 100 victims, so it is impossible to be prepared for something that big. I think our preliminary finding is that flexibility is the most crucial component in dealing with such disasters. People and organizations have to adjust the plan as they go along. This sounds unusual, but you have to plan to be spontaneous.” He said Indian officials faced the unimaginable tasks of identifying and burying 10,000 victims within three days after the tsunami. As bodies decomposed, they became harder and harder to identify. Officials took as many photos as possible, then began burying the victims. Most were Hindus, a religion which advocates cremation to dispose of bodies. The sheer number of victims ruled out this option. Wikle said most of the mass graves were not marked in any way. He described one that had PVC pipe embedded in the ground, not so much as a marker, but a way to allow ventilation into the grave to aid in decomposition of the bodies. “It’s important to the victims’ families and to future generations that these sites be recorded and available in a permanent archive,” he said. Subanthore, who is from the region, was charged with interviewing people at all different levels, from regular citizens to top officials. He said a common theme throughout his research was the remarkable resiliency of the Indian people. “They depend on the ocean for their livelihood and their income, so the survivors got back to work, trying to rebuild their lives,” he said. “They seem to be sustained by a combination of their spiritual beliefs and the fact that their family roots in these areas often go back for centuries. They have a tremendous sense of place, and they look at the ocean as a symbol of the divine. The ocean brought death, but it also brings life.” Neal agrees, saying that mass disasters do not defeat people.  “Societies do not collapse,” he says. “Life goes on because it has to.” The tsunami project was funded by the National Science Foundation, with additional assistance from the Armenian Church of Calcutta, the OSU Dean of Arts & Sciences and the OSU School of International Studies. Neal and Wikle hope to find additional funding to return to India and other locations to continue their research. They say the real value of these experiences is the knowledge gained by OSU’s graduate students.  “They learned an incredible amount, and they will be the teachers of the next generations,” Neal said.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:19:56 -0500
OSU Professor Will Help Peace Institute in Thailand
Oklahoma State University Professor L.M. Hynson is helping to give peace a chance in Thailand. Hynson, a professor of sociology, is currently in Thailand as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, setting up the curriculum for a new master's of peace studies degree at the Prince of Songkla University. The university is in the southern part of Thailand, a country struggling with the growing pains of modernizing its economy. For the past 10 years, Thailand has been transformed from an agricultural to an industrialized nation. The building of factories and other industrial facilities have sparked protests regarding pollution. Some of the demonstrations have turned violent, and several environmentalists have disappeared or been killed. Along with environmental issues, southwest Thailand has also been plagued with conflicts resulting from religious disputes. Hynson said Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej set up a Peace Institute at Songkla University to help promote peaceful alternatives to these often deadly confrontations.   "The institute has two primary functions: to promote peace in that region of Thailand and to offer a master's degree in Peace Studies,” Hynson said. “My assignment is to give lectures, develop a curriculum for the M.S. degree and work with faculty on various projects." Hynson thanked OSU Senior Vice President and Provost Marlene Strathe for signing a cooperative agreement with Prince of Songkla University in November 2003. "Agreements such as these make a big difference in our people getting the Fulbrights," he said. "Dr. Strathe is a big believer in faculty gaining a global perspective through international assignments. She plays an important role in connecting faculty to research projects such as the Fulbright. I appreciate her support because it made a big difference in my going to Thailand." Strathe said lessons learned abroad translate to better classroom teaching at OSU. "In an increasingly global world, it's more important than ever that our students gain this perspective and graduate from here with an understanding of world affairs,” she said. Hynson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee and is an applied/clinical sociologist. His research interests include East Asia, technology transfer, community and organizational development. At OSU, he serves on the core faculty of the School for International Studies. His report on the project will be published by the U.S. Embassy in Thailand and also will be featured on the Washington, D.C. Fulbright Office Web site. Hynson says he's hopeful that his work will become an ongoing project between OSU and the Thai university. The Fulbright program offers teachers, scholars and professionals the opportunity to teach and study abroad. The program was established from legislation initiated by the late Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright to promote “a mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world." At OSU, the Fulbright Information Center in the School of International Studies has been established to introduce students and faculty to the variety of opportunities offered by the program. For more information, call (405) 744-4722 or e-mail Dr. Nancy Wilkinson at
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:19:56 -0500
Regents Approve OSU System Budget
OKMULGEE – The Oklahoma State University Board of Regents has approved an OSU System operating budget that will allow OSU to strengthen faculty through its “Restore, Reward and Grow” program, recruit more graduate students, increase tuition assistance to undergraduates, reduce class sizes, enhance the university’s research infrastructure and move the school toward its goal of becoming one of the top 75 research institutions in the nation. OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly told regents the $741.4 million budget will allow all OSU System campuses and budget agencies to achieve goals laid out in the university’s “Achieving Greatness” strategic plan. “I am delighted that the FY2006 budget moves us forward in our strategic plan by strengthening our faculty, our classroom experience and our research capabilities,” Schmidly said. “We appreciate everything that state leadership did for higher education this year. They worked hard to ensure tuition increases will be kept as low as possible. We are especially grateful to Governor Henry, the legislative leadership and our local delegation for their commitment to providing additional funding for colleges and universities.” The OSU System received an average increase in state appropriations of about six percent or $12.3 million for FY 2006. The system includes OSU-Stillwater, OSU- Tulsa, the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, the Veterinary Health Sciences Center, OSU-Oklahoma City and OSU-Okmulgee. It also budgets for the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. The OSU System will receive $218.5 million in state appropriations. The rest of the operating budget comes from grants and contracts, student financial aid, tuition and fees, private gifts, revenue generating (auxiliary) campus enterprises and other sources. OSU-Stillwater received a 5.23 percent increase in state appropriations, or about $5.5 million. However, nearly all of the increase, about $5.3 million, will be needed to cover the university’s mandatory costs, such as health insurance, employee benefits, utility increases, higher costs for library materials, ADA compliance issues and IT infrastructure. Schmidly said that after paying mandatory costs, OSU would still have been chronically short in faculty numbers and unable to make any progress in its strategic priorities, especially the “Restore, Reward and Grow” faculty enhancement program, without modest increases in tuition and fees. “In the years leading up to 2005, budget cuts left OSU with as many as 100 vacant faculty positions at a time when enrollments were growing,” Schmidly said. “Thanks to increased appropriations and other sources of revenue, we are continuing to reverse this problem by ‘restoring’ positions that were lost, ‘rewarding’ our current faculty and ‘growing’ the faculty by adding new positions. “We are strengthening our research base, which will help us to recruit outstanding scientists and the nation’s top graduate students. A strong and successful research program is critical for a comprehensive university such as OSU. Top scientists and graduate students raise the overall academic quality and prestige of the institution, and they also contribute to economic development by creating new industries and bringing in millions of dollars in research grants and contracts.” Pending approval by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education at their June 30 meeting, in-state students at OSU-Stillwater and OSU-Tulsa will see a 6.5 percent tuition increase and increases in fees for library automation costs, academic facility improvements and academic excellence programs. The tuition and mandatory fee increase for in-state seniors will be $294 for the entire year. In-state non-seniors also pay academic service fees, and their total increase in tuition and all fees averages about $450. Non-resident tuition will increase by 9 percent. Even with the higher costs, OSU will remain the best buy in the Big XII. OSU’s average annual in-state student costs for tuition and mandatory fees will be $4,365, which is 83 percent of the current Big XII average of $5,207. Schmidly said OSU will help students with additional financial assistance by increasing fee waivers for undergraduate students and increasing compensation and fee waivers for graduate students. Graduate students will be included in the university’s pay raise program. Schmidly said faculty and staff at OSU-Stillwater will get an average 3 percent merit-based pay increase, effective Oct. 1, 2005. In addition, as part of the Restore, Reward and Grow program, another 3 percent will be available for merit faculty raises Jan. 1, 2006. Highlights from other OSU System campuses and budget agencies OSU-Oklahoma City – In-state tuition increase of 5.8 percent and 11.3 percent for non-residents is proposed. Fee waiver budget is being increased by $25,000. OSU-Okmulgee is proposing tuition increases of 6.3 percent (lower division) and 6.4 percent (upper division) for in-state students and 9.3 percent for non-resident students. OSU Center for Health Sciences – Priorities include continued expansion of Medicaid physician network, expansion of the telemedicine network and funding of a 3 percent raise program for faculty and staff, with an additional one percent pool to move faculty to 75 th percentile peer group average. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is proposing tuition increases of 7 percent for both resident and non-resident medical students. Veterinary Health Sciences Center – Pending State Regents’ approval, tuition will increase 7 percent for both resident and non-resident students. Agricultural Experiment Station – Will use a supplemental $2.5 million appropriation to fund its “Second Century Initiative” that will fill critical research faculty and staff positions and recruit graduate research assistants. Cooperative Extension Service – Will fill critical faculty and staff positions by adding four state Extension specialists and two area support staff.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:19:56 -0500