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February 1, 2020

Southeastern Oklahoma State University has a new president.

Dr. Thomas Newsom, who currently serves as Interim Vice President for Student Success and Dean of Students at Texas A&M-Commerce, will assume the duties as 21st  president of Southeastern on April 30. (Interim Southeastern president Bryon Clark will complete his duties at Commencement on May 9.)

The Board of Regents of  the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) made the announcement Friday at its regularly scheduled meeting at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

“We had a number of  outstanding candidates for the position,’’ said Regent Chair Susan Winchester. “After thoughtful deliberation by the Board, Dr. Newsom emerged as the best candidate to lead Southeastern into the future. The University has experienced significant growth in enrollment and other areas over the past few years, and...

In a day and age when cost efficiencies in higher education are more important than ever before, three Oklahoma universities have formed a unique, cost-saving partnership. Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University are jointly contracted with Colleague by Ellucian for enterprise resource planning (ERP), student information systems (SIS), finance, human resources, and talent management solutions. This collaborative effort resulted in cost savings of approximately $2.7 million, including savings in such areas as consulting and assistance, initial costs (license, maintenance, third-party software), ongoing hardware costs, and ongoing software support and maintenance. The partnership also facilitates interaction among representatives from each of our campuses as they work together to solv...

(MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World)

Danette Howard, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation, speaks at the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s state of education event on Thursday at the Renaissance Hotel.

College might not be for everybody, but post-secondary education is, a leading authority on the subject told the Tulsa Regional Chamber on Thursday.

“There are times when people say, ‘Not everyone needs to go to college,’ ” said Danette Howard, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation. “And there are times when people say, ‘It’s just not worth the cost.’ And I will agree that maybe not everyone needs a bachelor’s degree.

“But everyone actually does need to have some sort of post-high school learning — unless any of us are OK with someone being able to earn only $9,000 a year.”


With so much focus on pre-K through twelfth grade education funding, it is easy to overlook the more drastic cuts that higher education has sustained over the past decade. State spending on higher education has decreased by 26 percent since 2008 with Oklahoma leading the nation for the most drastic cuts between 2012 and 2017.  Unfortunately, last year’s boost to PK-12 education funding did not extend to higher education whose budget remained virtually flat from the previous year.

This session the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education has asked for a $101.5 million increase over last year’s budget to help undo budget cuts made over the past decade. Maintaining a robust system of higher education in Oklahoma is vital to our state’s economy.  By 2020, 67 percent of all jobs created in Oklahoma will require some college, a certific...

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