Hundreds of students, faculty, and staff members from Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities traveled to the State Capitol on Tuesday, February 12, to promote the value and importance of higher education in Oklahoma.
Among the hundreds included were Connors’ State Student Government Association members and President’s Leadership Class, along with a nearly a dozen faculty and staff members from the college, including members of the president’s Executive Council.
“The opportunities that our students get and the scholarships that they receive for all their hard work spent helping the college and surrounding communities, is why the state needs to keep investing in higher education,” stated Rochelle Vanover, PLC advisor. “When you invest in higher education, you invest in students like our PLC students.”
The students took this rare opportunity to meet with their local state representatives and thank them for their contributions to help restore higher education.
Speakers included Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Chair Jay Helm, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Matt Pinnell, Lieutenant Governor; Senator Roger Thompson, Senate Appropriations Chair; and President Tim Faltyn, Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
Three students also spoke at the event. Palmer Tetley, Tulsa Community College; Caitlin Anders, Cameron University; and Aleysa Franz, Northwestern Oklahoma State University. The speakers told attendees how they have benefitted from higher education and how attending one of Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities has positively impacted their lives.
For FY 2020, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have requested an addition of $101,500,000, which is based on funding three key areas: faculty salary increases of $38,700,000, restoration of base operational funding of $50,500,000, and financial aid and scholarship programs of $12,300,000.