Universities say state lagging in matching gifts for endowed positions

Sunday, March 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- Higher education officials say the state is lagging behind in matching private funds given to Oklahoma's colleges and universities.

The state Regents for Higher Education say about 34 (M) million dollars in state funds is needed to clear a backlog of 72 endowed professorships and chairs.

University of Oklahoma spokesman Jeff Hickman says some donors have been waiting three years for the state to come up with matching funds. Hickman says if the trend continues, schools may not be able to effectively raise money for the teaching positions.

Funding that could reduce the backlog is part of a supplemental appropriations bill that has stalled in the state Legislature.

Critics say the money for endowed chairs should not be part of the supplemental appropriations bill which would provide state agencies with money to make it through the end of the fiscal year.