Plan To Cut Back Higher Education Spending In Oklahoma Raises Questions About What’s Next For Local College

POTEAU, Okla. (KFSM) — A plan by the state of Oklahoma to cut back on higher education spending has Carl Albert State College in Poteau trying to figure out what to do next.

In November 2017 then Gov. Mary Fallin directed the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to develop a plan that would possibly consolidate universities and colleges.

Jay Falkner, President of Carl Albert State College, says the only thing that will be impacted by the change would be governing boards at each school.

"I think it's very important that we can hone in on the fact that there's been some confusion on this entire issue. This is not about consolidating Carl Albert State Collge with another university or college, this is not about closing Carl Albert State College. We've heard these kinds of comments in the public. The task force mandate as it lies in the recommendation strictly focuses on local governing boards. So the consolidation of local governing boards, that's what this is about," says Falkner.

Carl Albert State College is currently governed by a local regency board, and wants its administration to remain rather than being consolidated in the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents, or the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

In a regency meeting Friday (Feb. 15), a vote was unanimously agreed on to hire legal counsel to keep the current form of administration.

Falkner encourages people to come to visit the college, and reaffirmed with 5NEWS that the college will not be consolidating with another university, and the school will not be shutting down.

Anyone with questions about the issue is encouraged to call the school.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.