Guymon Daily Herald
OU Board of Regents approves academic service fee changes
The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents met today to approve modifications to academic service fees, new degree programs, the formation of a search committee and other items.
During the meeting, held on the OU Health Sciences Center campus, the Regents approved modifications to several academic service fees for the 2023-2024 academic year. The changes align with the tuition and fee simplification initiative that OU implemented starting with the fall 2022 semester. Under that initiative, the university eliminated approximately 650 academic service fees and realigned certain existing fees, improving transparency regarding the use of fee monies collected and simplifying student bursar bills.
The academic service fee changes for next academic year include a 59% reduction to each Norman campus graduate college-level program and technology fee. Over the past four years, the Norman campus has reduced fees for 18 credit hours of enrollment for graduate assistants by over $2,000 annually. The latest reductions would save graduate assistants an additional $1,700 annually, bringing total annual savings to students with graduate assistantships to $3,700 since 2018.
“The steps we have taken to reduce fees for graduate assistants goes hand-in-hand with our ambition to become a top-tier public research university,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “This move not only helps our students, it better positions our graduate and research programs to compete with our aspirational peers, leading to enhancements in our faculty recruitment, research productivity and undergraduate learning.”
In his remarks, Harroz noted that as with each of the previous fee cuts for graduate assistants since 2018, it is expected that these actions will again result in no net change in the overall cost of attendance for non-graduate assistants.
The Regents approved a $10 increase to the domestic admission application fee for fall 2024 applications, as well as increases to aviation course-specific special instruction fees. Due to the unique delivery of aviation courses, these fees were not consolidated in the tuition and fee simplification initiative.
The proposed changes to the academic service fees will now go before the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for final approval.
Among the academic program modifications considered during the Regents meeting were the addition of three new degree programs, each of which is strategically designed to meet growing societal needs. The board approved a new Master of Science degree and a new Doctor of Philosophy – both of which concentrate on learning experience design and technology, or LXDT. In today’s rapidly evolving digital world, learning designers must be able to effectively integrate the latest technologies into meaningful educational experiences across in-person, online or blended learning environments. The new master’s and Ph.D. LXDT programs will prepare graduates to address these emerging demands.
The Regents also approved the Bachelor of Education in early childhood education: birth through third grade on the OU-Tulsa campus. Early childhood education has long been a source of academic pride at OU-Tulsa. However, the degree program offered on the Tulsa campus is distinctly different from the early childhood education program on the Norman campus, requiring the creation of a new, separate degree program. The program on the OU-Tulsa campus is a two-year bachelor’s degree completion program, with the majority of students transferring into the program with an associate degree.
The proposed degree offerings will now go before the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for final approval.
The Regents also approved the formation of a search committee to fill the position of vice president for marketing and communications.
The board is set to next meet in March.