Friday, April 29, 2011
Bill to Create Ardmore Branch Campus Lacks Sustainable, Long Term Funding Plan
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today vetoed House Bill 1227, which would convert the Ardmore Higher Education Center into a branch campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. While Fallin said she supports expanding opportunities for higher education in Ardmore, she said that the plan to create a new branch campus needed more thorough vetting and a more comprehensive plan for sustainable funding.
“Supporting access to higher education is an important goal and something that I am committed to doing,” said Fallin. “Unfortunately, House Bill 1227, while well-intentioned, is flawed. The bill’s intent is to create and maintain a new college campus with funds from local government and private contributions; however, it is doubtful that such a campus can be sustained in the long run without significant state support. In other words, the people of Oklahoma will most likely be asked to foot the bill for this project. With no estimates on what that might cost the state of Oklahoma, and with the state still struggling to find its way out of a $500 million budget shortfall, I do not believe it would be appropriate to proceed.”
“I am happy and eager to continue to work with the people of Ardmore and their representatives to explore other alternatives. It is my intention to work together with all relevant parties to expand educational opportunities for our citizens in Southern Oklahoma.”