The Board of Regents approved a request to consolidate community colleges, but Oklahoma City Community College will not be affected.
The request was submitted by four subcommittees who, according to a statement by the Board of Regents, “examined every aspect of system operations, including academic models, online education, structure, fiscal services and operational efficiencies, workforce development, and information technology during the past 10 months.”
The subcommittees first met eight months ago. After completing their observation the subcommittees requested several community colleges consolidate their governing boards. The leading role of those colleges will be headed by four year universities like the University of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City Community College and several others were not subject to the same consolidation.
The Vice President of Academic Affairs at OCCC Greg Gardner said the reason for this is the school’s funded by property tax.
Property tax systems, the Oklahoma Tax Commission said, are based on market value of real, personal, and public service properties.
“All property in the State of Oklahoma is taxable unless a federal or state law provides an exemption. Public service properties are centrally valued by the Oklahoma Tax Commission. County Assessors in Oklahoma are responsible for establishing values of all taxable property within a county.”
Gardner said OCCC receives more than $5 million a year from it’s taxing district. He said Chancellor of the Board of Regents, Glen D. Johnson’s, statement addressed why OCCC regents would still be intact and why it would be beneficial.
“Our board represents our constituents,” he said. “They really represent our service area, and they really bring a voice of the community back to us at the presidents level.”
Gardner said those colleges whose regents may no longer be in tact next year could lose the very same input from their individual constituencies.
“Oklahoma needs more college graduates to remain economically competitive in the years to come,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson in a statement. “As we discovered during this comprehensive self-examination of our higher education system, the time is right to reconsider and rethink our entire public higher education structure”
Johnson said the task force did its job, and “specific transformational actions” have been put forth to optimize performance, enhance innovation, increase productivity, and manage costs through gains in administrative efficiencies.
Gardner said this transition will not effect OCCC, and the requests by the subcommittees may not go into effect until next year.