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Tulsa World editorial: Public higher education steps up during the COVID-19 crisis

[Head of Veterinary Pathobiology Dr. Jerry Ritchey (right) reviews the first set of COVID-19 testing samples before he and others address the media April 1 at the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater. Testing has begun at the facility. The first test samples came from the Tulsa area according to Ritchey. EVAN LEWIS/for the Tulsa World]

In a few weeks, Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities will graduate 692 new physicians, 1,787 nurses, 1,568 allied health professionals and 793 public health specialists.

The state has never needed them more.

In recent years, the state’s higher education system has borne far more than its fair share of the burden of state financial woes.

Some of the leaders of the system were politically unpopular with lawmakers, many of whom simply didn’t understand the economic and social need for public higher education.

If they’re paying attention, the COVID-19 crisis should suggest why that sort of thinking is wrong.

While reeling from the impact of the coronavirus, the state’s colleges and universities have stepped up heroically to help the state through the greatest state government challenge in contemporary history.

Read more of this editorial at the Tulsa World here.

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