Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 15, 2013

Chancellor pushes ‘tools to succeed’

TAHLEQUAH — Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson believes it’s time for the state to set the national academic curve and maintain a global pace for students entering a competitive economic employment race.

Johnson spoke Monday in the Northeastern State University Center’s Redbud Room to a luncheon group made up of elected and non-elected local and area state legislators and officials, local and area college and university presidents and faculty, and community supporters of higher education.

He presented the 2013 OSRHE agenda, emphasizing the need for college students to complete degree plans; increased access to college-level instruction for more students; and improved quality standards of higher education. He also wanted to make sure when a student graduates from one of the state’s 25 colleges and universities, he or she is prepared and equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to make a lasting mark in today’s international workforce.

“It’s very important to recognize we are seeing significant change nationally, internationally, and certainly there is a significant change going on in higher education as we speak,” Johnson said. “Our message today is that we are not simply reacting to change. We have put forth a very positive, very aggressive game plan that puts us out in front, frankly. Where we’re setting the tempo in reaction to change and not simply just reacting to events that are going on all around us. In many, many areas, you’ll see we’re forming partnerships and forging relationships that will serve our system and our students very well as we go forward.”

Johnson noted that to do this and maintain a neck-and-neck posture with academic systems around the world, education must continue to improve on all of the state’s campuses, not just those of higher education.

“I think one thing that is for sure [is] that the states that are going to be successful in this new knowledge-based global economy will be the states that, No. 1, make a commitment to improve education at all levels – not just the higher ed levels, but the common ed level and the career tech level,” Johnson said.

“[We have to know] whether or not we, as a system of higher education, can assemble the tool’s necessary to put together the kind of workforce that our state needs, which gets us directly to our public agenda in higher education. Sometimes it’s helpful to go back to the basics.”

Johnson, who became chancellor in January 2007 after serving as Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s 16th president for 10 years, said the OSRHE’s to-do list aims to ensure Oklahoma college graduates will experience favorable outcomes when looking for work.

“We have a three-point agenda that is very crisp, is very concise and gets to the very heart of what we’re about in public higher education in the state of Oklahoma. The first is an obligation and responsibility to provide more access to college for more students,” he said.

“I think everyone knows Oklahoma is below the national average in terms of percentages of our citizens with college degrees. So we need to provide more access to students who can achieve, and at the same time, we have a responsibility to continue to improve the quality of our educational product. We do this through a variety of accreditations that occur at all areas of major disciplines. I placed in a report that in addition to meeting the minimum level of accreditation, most of our institutions – through their rigorous programs – have achieved a second, and in some cases even a third level of accreditation.”

The state’s top priority, Johnson said, is increasing the number of college graduates.

“If we’re going to be successful, we’ve got to have more graduates,” he said. “Finally, and our faculty take this responsibility very seriously, as we all do, to ensure that when our students leave our college or university, they are better prepared not only to participate in this global economy, but to succeed. If given the tools to succeed, obviously our faculty provides opportunities for students to develop their analytical skills, their critical thinking skills, and all of this will put them in a position where they can meet the challenges and succeed in today’s economy.”

NSU President Dr. Steve Turner reminded listeners the goal of meetings like Monday’s is to inform elected officials and colleagues about the system’s needs.

“In fact, it is an investment that has returns that cause ripples across our communities,” he said.

“The way to prosperity is through education – whether that be through career tech, a two-year institution or through a four-year institution. So, please, take the message and remember the slide [in Chancellor Johnson’s presentation] that says we need the funding, but even with that, we’re still not back to 2008. So let’s make that effort.”

According to the history of appropriations provided by Johnson, in the fiscal year 2008, the OSRHE budget report noted $1,050 billion to be used for the state’s higher education system.

In 2010, the state regents were given $1,001 billion, while in the 2012 fiscal year, the state’s budget $945 million.

Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest