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Funds provided for 215 professors at Oklahoma colleges

Updated:
EL RENO, Okla. (AP) _ State regents have approved $56 million in matching funds to hire 215 professors at Oklahoma colleges.

The money matches that given by private donors for an endowed chair program. The matching funds had been on hold until December, when the state Supreme court validated a bond issue authorized by legislators in 2004.

``The endowed chair program enables our colleges and universities to place highly qualified professors in the classroom and research laboratories, which benefits our students and also helps our state leaders attract new business and industry to Oklahoma,'' Chancellor Paul Risser said.

State Regents Chairman Cheryl Hunter said that without the matching funds, universities would have seen a decline in large gifts.

``Even with the bond issue, we're not totally caught up in our matches,'' she said. ``But we are hopeful that our legislators will continue to demonstrate their support for the program.''

The funds will go to 18 institutions, bringing the state total to 599 endowed chairs, professorships and lectureships on 24 campuses.
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