No tuition or fee increases for OSU-Stillwater and OSU-Tulsa; fiscal responsibility and strategic planning in focus
The OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved today a $1.5 billion operating budget for the Oklahoma State University system for Fiscal Year 2023 during its regularly scheduled meeting.
Tuition and mandatory fees will remain flat for both in-state and out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students at the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses.
“Our land-grant university tradition is reflected in this budget as we prioritize managing the cost of an OSU degree by focusing on affordability and accessibility,” said Dr. Trudy Milner, OSU/A&M Board of Regents chair. “Mindful of the financial challenges faced by students and their families, Dr. Shrum and her leadership team have held the line on tuition and fees. A conservative approach to managing the university’s financial affairs still has room to invest in initiatives and programs to deliver a quality academic and student experience, making Oklahoma State a truly unique place.”
General university state appropriations are up roughly $1.9 million in the FY 2023 budget over the previous year — an increase of 1.92%. The new appropriations will be used to address mandatory cost increases and position OSU’s budget to be adaptable to the strategic planning process. An additional $2.3 million will be directed toward science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree programs that are a pipeline for Oklahoma’s Top 100 Critical Occupations.
“Oklahoma State has once again developed a budget that reflects our commitment to financial stewardship and our students,” said OSU President Kayse Shrum.
“In keeping tuition and fees flat for the majority of students in the OSU system, we will continue to make higher education accessible and serve our state, empowering students to change the world and cultivating a skilled workforce pipeline through teaching, research and Extension. Based on projections, this budget also includes opportunities for increased investment in our faculty and staff in the form of a merit-based raise program.
“At the state level, we are pleased to see significant interest in enhanced support for higher education. We look forward to working closely with state leaders and continuing our momentum to cement OSU as the nation’s premier land-grant institution.”
According to the latest figures, enrollment across the OSU system is 32,706, led by an enrollment of 22,402 at its Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, including the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Despite the challenges of navigating a pandemic, OSU’s enrollment growth trend continues at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Over the past two years, general university enrollment has increased by more than 600 students — an increase of 2.7%. Fall 2022 projections indicate this trend is likely to continue, with early indicators pointing to an increase in the size of the freshman class.
Driven by solid demand, revenue diversity, adequate cash flow and modest debt plans, OSU’s economic outlook is positive. According to the most recent ratings reviews from S&P and Fitch, which took place in mid-April, OSU has maintained a strong AA- credit rating.
OSU Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Joe Weaver said fiscal responsibility has been a key point of focus for OSU leadership — one which has allowed OSU to maintain its “high grade” credit rating.
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our commitment to sound budgeting has allowed us to maintain our AA- rating on OSU bonds,” he said. “In honoring our fiduciary duty, we have ensured continued access to affordable borrowing rates that will open doors for sustainable expansion of campus facilities and future growth.”
Dr. Shrum is leading a team charged with turning her vision for OSU into an actionable strategy. The collaborative effort includes critical input from students, faculty and university leadership. The plan will be presented to the OSU/A&M Board of Regents this fall with implementation to follow.
As part of Shrum’s vision to enhance employment opportunities and growth, a faculty and staff merit-based raise program will be implemented in the fall 2022 semester, following a similar program in December 2021.
From an Oklahoma State University News Release.