The Assistant to the President and Director of Instituional Advancement at Southwestern Oklahoma State University spoke to members of the Weatherford Economic Development foundation yesterday. Garrett King says numbers show Oklahoma higher education generates $9.2 billion in economic output and 85,000 jobs, is the 5th most affordable in the United States, but is the last in the country for state support.
"Most states increased investment in higher education over the last five fiscal years," King said. "Those investments ranged between 2.1%, we had some states increase spending in public education to almost 51.4%. Seven states in the last five years, tanked it, from a range of about 1.8%, our neighbors to the north, our neigbors to the east, and us, 17.8."
King says when it comes to future physical needs, the SWOSU Foundation and Association are focusing on a dedicated facility for research, expansion of the student union, and addressing student housing needs.