University Center merger with Murray State College heads to governor for approval

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite

The plan for Murray State College to take over the University Center of Southern Oklahoma passed through the state senate this week. With approval by both chambers of the state legislature, the bill now heads to Gov. Kevin Stitt for final approval.

More:Murray State College proposes merger with University Center of Southern Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday voted 45-1 to approve the bill.

UCSO Board of Trustees in March voted to approve a proposal from MSC that would transfer all properties and finances of the Ardmore campus to the Tishomingo-based college. 

More:Transfer of University Center to Murray State College initiated with March vote

Trustees have said that the move was due to years of declining enrollment and revenues, and that a merger would be necessary to prevent the center from defaulting on bond payments in the next fiscal year. 

Despite overwhelming support from trustees and members of the Oklahoma Legislature, some have criticized the speed at which the merger was considered and approved. 

More:UCSO merger bill approved by House, criticized for rushed legislative process