College presidents warn about budget, as lawmakers seek education reform
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — College and university presidents from across Oklahoma urged lawmakers Wednesday to ease cuts to higher education as the state grapples with a $1.3 billion hole in next fiscal year’s budget.
Chancellor of Higher Education Glen Johnson and the presidents of some of the state’s 25 colleges and universities held closed-door meetings with House and Senate budget leaders to outline some of the dire consequences of further cuts.
“To this point, this fiscal year already, the cut to our system of higher education has come to $112 million,” Johnson said after the meeting. “That represents over an 11 percent cut since the beginning of the fiscal year.”
Athletic programs have been slashed, including basketball at Carl Albert State College in Poteau and volleyball and equine sports at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Johnson said. The aquatic center at Oklahoma City Community College was also shut down, he said.