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OU Board of Regents Approve FY25 Budget: Sustaining Affordability, Advancing Academic Excellence

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OU Board of Regents Approve FY25 Budget: Sustaining Affordability, Advancing Academic Excellence


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Date

June 21, 2024

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(405) 325-3530
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ARDMORE, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents met in Ardmore today to approve a number of items, including a budget for fiscal year 2025 that keeps tuition affordable and invests in strategic priorities, ensuring the university is well-positioned to sustain its upward momentum for years to come.

“Next year’s budget reflects our commitment to offering a life-changing education at exceptional value – especially in an era when rigorous fiscal discipline has never been more important across higher education,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “As Oklahoma’s public flagship and as the state’s leading research engine, our students have access to unparalleled learning opportunities and transformative life experiences, positioning them for a future of limitless potential. This is why more students than ever are choosing OU, and it is what fuels our dedication to ensuring they receive an outstanding return on their investment.”

During his remarks at the meeting, Harroz called attention to several measures that have enhanced affordability at OU. In the last five years, OU has grown need-based aid by 38%, increased the number of scholarships awarded by more than 20% and saved over $140 million in annual operating costs. Thanks in large part to these efforts, 56% of OU undergraduate students graduate debt-free, compared to 45% at four-year public universities nationwide.

“We are remarkably proud that thanks to our unyielding focus on balancing excellence with affordability, coupled with our strong fiscal management, an OU degree is more affordable today than it was five years ago,” Harroz said.

Guided by OU’s “Lead On, University” Strategic Plan, which prioritizes academic excellence and financial accessibility, the Regents reaffirmed their commitment to sustaining OU’s trajectory of success. In recent years, OU has made strong strides in its ambition to become a leading public research university, from welcoming three consecutive record-breaking freshman classes, elevating sponsored research expenditures to record levels, expanding enrollment in key areas with high workforce demand, joining the SEC and much more.

Amidst these achievements, the Regents approved a budget for the 2024-2025 academic year that aims to position OU for even higher levels of excellence while providing a top-tier, affordable education. To support this, the budget includes a 3% increase in tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate and graduate students on the Norman campus. At OU Health Sciences, tuition for undergraduate and graduate programs will increase 3%, while eight professional programs will see tuition increases ranging from 4% to 5% for resident students.

The budget will allow the university to fund several critical priorities outlined in its Strategic Plan, including a merit-based raise program for faculty and staff to help recruit and retain the best available talent in a competitive environment, as well as increased stipends for graduate assistants and critical upgrades to OU’s physical infrastructure.

“These strategic investments, coupled with a continually growing research enterprise that is helping change the world in ways big and small, an academic health system that is serving the health care needs of the state, and a commitment to ensuring students are well-prepared for their chosen careers following graduation, are what is expected of a leading public university. And our work is paying dividends. For last year and this upcoming year, OU has seen double-digit increases in our incoming freshman class – a stark contrast to sharp enrollment declines nationwide,” Harroz added.

Also at today’s meeting, the Regents approved two new degree offerings for the Norman campus, including a Doctor of Philosophy in Materials and Science Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Analytics, as well as an Executive Master of Healthcare Administration program at OU Health Sciences.

The three proposed degree programs will now go before the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for final approval.

Also approved during the meeting were new academic appointments, including Andrea Miller as dean of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Anna Carpenter as dean of the OU College of Law, Melissa Medina as dean of the College of Pharmacy and John Antonio as dean of the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy.

The Regents also approved Mackenzie Wilfong as executive secretary of the OU Board of Regents.

With more than two decades of experience in higher education, Wilfong joins OU from Tulsa Community College, where she has served as vice president of legal affairs, general counsel and chief legal officer for the past seven years.

In her role as executive secretary, Wilfong will be responsible for Board relations; the operational management of the Board of Regents’ Office, including personnel management and budget administration; and serving as the principal aid to the Board as it makes informed decisions and fulfills its fiduciary and oversight responsibilities for the university. She will also be the primary liaison between the Board of Regents and university administration.

The board is set to next meet in September.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit ou.edu.


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