Saying Chancellor Hans Brisch didn't make a single commitment to expand educational opportunities in Tulsa during almost two hours of testimony yesterday, Senator Lewis Long is calling on Brisch and the State Regents to offer some concrete commitments for expanding academic offerings in Tulsa. He's also urging Tulsans to phone the Chancellor in support of a proposed four-year university in Tulsa.
"We listened to the Chancellor for almost two hours and not once during that time was he able to make one single, concrete commitment to improve academic offerings in Tulsa. All we got was a bunch of mumbo jumbo, the same song and dance Tulsa has gotten for years when it comes to higher education. All talk, no action," said Senator Lewis Long.
"Based on this latest performance, it's no wonder we're still waiting for a four-year university in Tulsa."
Senator Long has authored legislation that would create a free-standing, four-year university in Tulsa. The Glenpool legislator wants the State Regents to use existing resources to create the institution, noting that Rogers University currently receives $18.4 million, the 3rd largest allocation of the state's 11 regional universities. Rogers also has the 3rd largest enrollment.
Although he was questioned about the proposal to create a four-year university in Tulsa yesterday, Brisch did not respond to the question or the Senate analysis detailing available funding for the school.
"I want a direct answer to a very simple question about a common sense proposal. We pay our $400,000 Chancellor a lot of money to be an expert on higher education, but he either can't or won't answer some very basic questions about Tulsa. The very least the people of Tulsa deserve is an honest answer," said Senator Long.
Senator Long is urging Tulsa residents who are interested in improving higher education to phone Brisch and the State Regents, demanding answers about the four-year university proposal.
"We have the money, the students, the facilities and the need. All we're missing is the university itself. The common sense approach is to create a four-year school. Not next year, not next month, not next week. Now," said Senator Long.
"The fact that Chancellor Brisch didn't even respond to this issue yesterday shows how little regard he has for Tulsa. If he can't address it or isn't willing to, maybe we should find someone who can."
The State Regents can be reached at 405-524-9122.