The Edmond Sun

Local News

March 8, 2013

Senator defends bill that changes Langston University’s status in Tulsa

GUTHRIE — Langston University officials and a pair of Democratic state senators are calling two measures passed this week by the Oklahoma Senate allowing Oklahoma State University to offer accounting courses at its Tulsa campus unconstitutional.

But, the author of the bills, Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, said he is pushing forward with the legislation unless he is shown proof that the bills are running afoul of federal law.

Currently, only Langston is allowed to offer courses in accounting, sociology and psychology in Tulsa, Crain said.

Senate Bill 59, which passed 36-10, would allow the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to establish a baccalaureate degree program in accounting at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.

SB 58, which passed 35-11, would eliminate the requirement that the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents establish a branch of the university within the Tulsa metropolitan area. Instead it makes it optional rather than mandatory that Langston University offer courses in Tulsa.

Both measures now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Crain said OSU-Tulsa officials have told him that the most requested program students ask for is accounting because OSU has a reputation for having one of the nation’s best accounting programs.

“OSU-Tulsa cannot offer accounting currently because we prohibit them by statute,” Crain said. “We have students in Tulsa getting on a bus and going to Stillwater for classes that they would obviously prefer to take in Tulsa and we are not providing that. What I am trying to do is clear the way so that OSU can offer the programs that the people in Tulsa want to take from OSU.”

Langston University President Kent Smith said in a press release he was disappointed in the measures passing. He did not return phone calls requesting comment by press time.

“I am deeply disappointed with the passage of (these) Oklahoma Senate bills, SB 58 and 59, authored by Tulsa Sen. Brian Crain,” Smith stated. “If the House passes and the governor signs these misguided bills into law, the future of Langston University in Tulsa would be in serious jeopardy. On the surface, these bills might not seem particularly troublesome; however, upon a closer examination, these bills regrettably reveal a veiled attempt to undermine Langston University in Tulsa and threaten its existence.

“The bills are unconstitutional and do not value the significance of the state’s only historically black university. We will put forth an aggressive effort to work with the House of the Representatives where we hope to receive more thoughtful consideration of bills relating to Langston University.”

Sen. Constance N. Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, and Sen. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa, said they believe the bills could jeopardize the state’s higher education federal funding.

The senators say that SB 58 and SB 59 remove the mandate for a LU presence in Tulsa and allows for the duplication of Langston University course offerings — both of which are in direct violation of a 1978 agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights mandating that Langston University would have a presence in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City and that its courses would not be duplicated by other universities

The State Board of Regents is currently in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Education to address the state’s being out of compliance with that 1978 agreement.

Sen. Shumate said in a press release this legislation should be defeated in order to allow the State Board of Regents to continue to work on negotiations with the U.S. Department of Education.  

“Those who supported these bills are putting the cart before the horse,” Shumate said. “We need to respect the process and allow the State Regents to continue negotiations with the U.S. Department of Education before we start passing legislation that could negatively impact our federal education funding.”

Sen. Johnson concurred.

“This assault on the historic mission of Langston University with regard to the education of underserved groups is unwarranted,” said Johnson in a press release. “Not only does the passage of these measures put our federal education funding in jeopardy, it also demonstrates disregard for the value that Langston University has brought to our state in educating such populations.”

Crain said he only recently heard complaints about the bills being called unconstitutional.

“These same bills were filed last year,” Crain said. “The thought that these bills were in violation of federal law was not something that I heard until (Wednesday). The title is off these bills. Certainly if someone can present to me evidence that we are about to violate federal law I will certainly look at that. I will need to look at some documentation before I am going to stop pursuing these bills.”

Crain said one of his goals in the Legislature has been to provide a four-year public education program in Tulsa. He said he wants programs that want to be in Tulsa and not because they are required to be there.

“The overall affect is we do not have access in Tulsa to a local college that provides a complete range of four-year public education,” Crain said. “OSU-Tulsa provides some courses but because of the requirements that we have they are limited. Neither program can grow right now because of the way current statutes are written. I want programs in Tulsa that want to be in Tulsa. I want them to be a part of the overall development of Tulsa. I don’t want them to be obligated or forced to present a campus if it is not where they want to be.”  

Crain said there is nothing in his legislation that would keep either school from being in Tulsa.

“There is nothing about any of these bills that prohibits either school from growing or existing,” he said. “I am not eliminating anything. These bills are intended to provide education opportunities in the Tulsa area. They are not intended to be an attack on Langston or OSU.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 1,000th baby group.jpg INTEGRIS welcomes 1,000th birth since opening in October 2011

    Being the father of a new baby boy is pretty exciting, but being the father of INTEGRIS Health Edmond’s 1,000th baby made it even more special.
    “When we got to the hospital, the night-shift nurse told us we were in a race with another couple who had gotten there at 7 a.m.,” said Bryan Lane, the new baby’s father.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • okco fair 100.jpg Oklahoma County Free Fair offers competition, free fun

    Oklahoma County residents are invited to compete in the 100th annual Oklahoma County Free Fair as they take part in many activities scheduled just for them.
    The county fair will get underway Aug. 21-23 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park and will be highlighted by its open adult and youth along with 4-H and Oklahoma Home and Community Education categories, as well as its special contest and activities.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Great Expectations names 4 Edmond public schools ‘Model Schools’

    Great Expectations, a non-profit foundation that provides intensive professional development to teachers and administrators, announces four Edmond Public Schools have earned the organization’s highest distinction: Model School. Based on Great Expectations theory implementation, there are three categories of recognition, including Transitional School, Progressive School and Model School.

    July 31, 2014

  • Grieving children find support at Calm Waters

    Calm Waters Center for Children and Families offers free support groups for children, ages 3–18 and their families whose lives have been affected by death or divorce.
    Oklahoma continues to rank among the top states in the nation for unintentional and premature deaths, leaving single parents raising children. Additionally, Oklahoma continues to have one of the highest divorce rates per capita in the nation. These tragedies leave children feeling isolated, sad, and uncertain.

    July 31, 2014

  • Church hosts adult Vacation BIble School

    “Jesus is the Source” will be the theme of Edmond First Church of the Nazarene’s second annual adult Vacation BIble School.
    The progam will be from 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 4-7 at the church, located at 3001 S. Boulevard. It will include a light supper at 6 p.m. and songs, games, storytelling and crafts beginning at 6:30 p.m.
    Presenters will include members of the congregation acting as Bible characters and a special performer will be in from Texas.

    July 31, 2014

  • officers killed 1.jpg 67 cops die on duty across country

    The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that 67 officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2014 — a 31 percent increase from the same period last year.
    Of these 67 officers, 26 were killed in traffic-related incidents, 25 were killed by gunfire and 16 died due to job-related illnesses and other causes. California led all states with eight officer fatalities followed by Florida, New York, Texas and Virginia each with four peace officer fatalities.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lankford, James 2011.jpg Lankford, rest of Oklahoma delegation vote to sue president

    A Democratic leader said the House does not have standing to sue the president after members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted to do just that.
    At 6:28 p.m. Wednesday, members of the House approved by a 225-201 partisan margin H. Res. 676, which gives House leadership the authority to file a lawsuit challenging actions by President Barack Obam

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • UCO, local Y create community garden

    A new community garden is providing a transformative learning opportunity for students and helping stock UCO’s Central Pantry.
    The University of Central Oklahoma’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center and the Edmond Rankin YMCA are sponsoring the garden, providing a transformative learning opportunity for students, and organic fruits, vegetables and herbs for the food bank.

    July 31, 2014

  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
     View Results