Senator Charles Ford, Senator Penny Williams and Representative Betty Boyd are calling for the creation of a Tulsa Task Force on Higher Education that will examine the future of higher education in northeastern Oklahoma. The panel will present its findings to the State Regents for Higher Education and the Oklahoma Legislature.
The Tulsa Task Force will be designed to examine the unique needs and challenges that its area higher education system will face in the 21st Century.
The legislators, all from Tulsa, said that it is most appropriate for Tulsa-area residents to make decisions about issues that impact the continued development of their hometown, especially those focusing on academic quality and student success. According to Ford, Williams and Boyd, a "grassroots" philosophy is particularly suited for higher education, given the traditional community involvement with colleges and universities, and the ever-changing needs of Green Country business and industry that count on the support offered by such institutions.
"The educational mix that is right for one part of the state may not work so well in another part of the state," said Senator Ford, Senator Williams and Rep. Boyd. "That's why Tulsans should be the ones to make the decisions about the future of higher education in Tulsa."
The Tulsa legislators are calling on the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to create the task force and appoint members. They said the panel will examine Tulsa's current higher education system, its advantages and shortcomings, and possible plans for growth in the future.
Senators Williams and Ford co-sponsored legislation two years ago that cleared the way for the merger that created Rogers University in Tulsa.