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Task force approves recommendation to restructure public colleges

The Associated Press and The Oklahoman - December 7, 2017 11:06 am

A restructuring plan for Oklahoma’s public colleges would move seven institutions under the authority of larger governing boards capable of better providing services to students.

That recommendation was approved Wednesday along with dozens of others by the state’s 60-member task force on the future of higher education.

Two members voted against the plan, which gives governing boards that oversee a single institution until June 30, 2019, to merge with the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, the Oklahoma State University and A&M Colleges Board of Regents or the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

“I believe local governance is important in these community colleges. They have different student bodies they deal with,” said Gov. Bill Anoatubby, of the Chickasaw Nation. “I believe this will be counterproductive in the long term.”

Jeff Greenlee, of Altus, said he is concerned the mergers would increase the cost of tuition at the two-year colleges affected.

The recommendation would affect Carl Albert State College, Eastern Oklahoma State College, Murray State College, Redlands Community College, Seminole State College, Western Oklahoma State College and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

 

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