March 25, 2017

Oklahoma Higher Ed Not Just Treading Water

Oklahoma’s higher education officials often claim that, because of reduced government subsidies from lawmakers, universities are forced to raise tuition and fees just to keep their heads above water.

In reality, as Neal McCluskey demonstrates, higher education has taken in much more revenue than what was needed to backfill state cuts. As you can see in the charts below, Oklahoma’s per-student appropriations have indeed fallen over the past 25 years, but tuition and fee revenues have increased at a much greater rate—resulting in a net increase of $61 per student or $25 million per year. 

March 22, 2017

When Higher Education Undermines Freedom

An official at the University of Oklahoma recently praised Donald Trump’s critics for their ability to “overcome hate.” OU's president wants “hate speech” reported to the police—and one professor did in fact call the police after being handed an evangelistic tract.

If OU insists upon undermining political freedom, Greg Forster writes for OCPA, lawmakers might want to consider cutting back on direct subsidies and instead more fully voucherizing their support for higher education.

March 16, 2017

Mixing Religion and Politics?

Conservatives are sometimes accused of mixing religion and politics, of trying to impose our version of morality via the political process.

But of course, we're not alone. Our friends on the left have no qualms about using moral and religious language to support their positions on matters of politics and policy. Just this morning, the Oklahoma Senate Democrats correctly reminded us that our state budget is a "moral document."

One could cite numerous other examples of attempts to legislate morality. For instance, two Tulsa rabbis once argued that "when we do not make public education a priority in our state we sin against our children and our future."

University of Oklahoma president David Boren once said that reducing government spending on higher education is "morally wrong." He even seemed to express agreement with the notion that it is a "sin."

Former Oklahoma Gov. David Walters said it's "immoral" not to embrace the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

A homosexual rabbi suggested that perhaps Planned Parenthood is "doing God's work."

Oklahoma journalist Arnold Hamilton pronounced it "a moral imperative" to do things like expand medical welfare.

A liberal think tank said the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is the "morally responsible" choice for Oklahoma. The organization also promotes the pro-abortion Obamacare law, defends the Oklahoma branches of the nation’s largest abortion business, and laments that there isn't more accessibility to what it calls (in a devilishly Orwellian turn of phrase) "abortion care."

State Rep. Emily Virgin pronounced it "sinful that many Oklahomans are unable to receive affordable and quality health care." (She likely does not deem sinful her vote against banning abortions on children who can feel intense pain or her vote against banning the practice of tearing babies apart as they bleed to death.)

Legislating morality is so important, in fact, that the failure to do so can apparently have serious long-term consequences. One Oklahoma educator suggested that would-be pension reformers in the Oklahoma legislature probably "should die and go straight to hell." For his part, Clinton confidant James Carville, the lovable Ragin' Cajun, once suggested that "somebody is going to hell" over attacks on the Clinton Foundation.

In short, liberals often try to legislate morality. Not, I hasten to add, that there's anything wrong with that.


Arguing against a specific piece of legislation, state Rep. Collin Walke (D-Oklahoma City) said "we do have an opportunity today to live out our Christian faith and say that we will not enslave the poor, we will defend them today by voting no on this bill."

March 14, 2017

What a Drag

It's a pity that student fees at UCO are being spent this way. Trent England discussed it this morning on the radio (at the 36:55 mark).

March 05, 2017


Congratulations to the Oklahoma City Knights, who defeated Topeka in the seminfinals and Omaha in the finals to claim the tournament crown. Jack Henry had 25 points and 8 rebounds in the semifinal game, and 17 points and 4 rebounds in the final.

As a bonus, Jack Henry won
the three-point shooting contest!

February 28, 2017

What Budget Gap? Campus Follies Continue

Hats off to my colleague Trent England for shining a spotlight on this:

Here's the job description:
This position serves as the Director of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies (SWCHRS). Responsible for administration of SWCHRS, in addition to development of federal, state or other funding to support the Center's staff and operations; monitors projects and related program evaluations; developing relationships with a wide variety of entities on a regional and national level, as well internal and external to the university; and works closely with the Associate Vice President for Outreach and the Executive Committee of the Center to develop long range plans for the continued operation of the Center. Develops, plans, organizes, implements, directs, and evaluates the SWCHRS’ effectiveness and overall performance, especially in the area of new program development related to diversity, human relations and their intersections with social justice. Directs SWCHRS' strategic planning initiatives and works with the Associate Vice President for Outreach (AVP) to expand, monitor, and implement all aspects of the plan. Responsible for the university’s freshman diversity experience training. Coordinates center initiatives with other university entities/offices such as the Office of University Community, Student Affairs, Women and Gender Studies, etc. Provides timely, accurate, and complete reports as needed. Collaborates with the management team to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness. Fosters a success-oriented, accountable environment. Develops and/or strengthens external partnerships with business, government, and service organizations, and with other internal and external constituents. Directs the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher (NCORE), the largest conference in the country with a focus on race and ethnicity in American Higher Education. Carries out special projects as assigned by the AVP and Vice President (VP). Provides day-to-day leadership and management reflecting the mission and core values critical to SWCHRS. Performs all other duties as requested.
Trent also found this gem:

February 14, 2017

Higher Ed Penury Watch