UCSO action possible next week on MSC merger proposal

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite

The University Center of Southern Oklahoma Board of Trustees will hold another special meeting next week that could see action on a proposed merger with Murray State College. The board could also set a March 18 public forum to gather input from stakeholders and community members, according to an agenda released on Tuesday. 

Trustees last month first discussed the proposed merger with MSC during a special meeting after weeks of delays from winter storms. The college made the proposal after a November 2020 retreat with officials from UCSO and the three partner institutions of MSC, Langston University and Southeastern Oklahoma State University. 

UCSO asked the three institutions during that retreat for recommendations or proposals to help the Ardmore campus deal with floundering revenues and enrollment. A UCSO budget analysis prepared ahead of next week’s special meeting projects a nearly $147,000 deficit for fiscal year 2022. 

The MSC proposal to take over administrative control of the Ardmore campus has received support from other institutions and state officials. Any merger would have to be approved by trustees at UCSO and MSC, along with state regents for higher education and the Oklahoma Legislature. 

FROM UCSO:View the agenda for the March 11 special meeting of the UCSO Board of Trustees

The UCSO Board of Trustees will meet at the center on Thursday, March 11 at 4 p.m., with half of the 10-member board expected to attend virtually.