RSU Hosts Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education April 21

two men talking to lady

Rogers State University Senior and Student Government Association President Victoria Middleton (left) and RSU President Dr. Larry Rice (center) visit with Regent Steven W. Taylor (right). Taylor is a former Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. He also is the former mayor of McAlester, Oklahoma. He served as the presiding judge in the state trial of the Oklahoma City bombing.


The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education were at Rogers State University Friday, April 21, holding both a hearing and a meeting, enjoying lunch at the Oklahoma Military Academy Museum, and taking in the beautiful RSU campus.

Regents began the morning with a hearing discussing tuition limits and academic service fees charged to students at institutions in the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.

In addition to various regents offering their insights, RSU senior and Student Government Association President Victoria Middleton was present to offer her own insights from a student’s perspective.

“Thank you for giving me the time to speak to you today,” Middleton told Regents. “I’m many things here at RSU – involved in many organizations and I hold many offices, but most important is what we’re talking about today – I am a student who will be graduating with thousands of dollars in student debt.”

“It wasn’t that long ago that many of the people in this room were at the state Capitol, advocating for higher education and talking about this in front of our state legislators,” she said. “As for comparing our own college experiences (with one of the legislators), we found out that I’m paying 10 times more than what he did to receive a bachelor’s degree in the state of Oklahoma, which I found absurd – that someone one generation before mine paid so much less for the same type of degree.”

Middleton said she felt the difference lay in the state not properly allocating funds for higher education.

“I don’t believe anyone in this room is advocating for the state to spend less on higher education, however, I do think it would be important for all of us to take a step back to ask what more could we be doing to ensure that they’re not spending less, that it only increases from this point moving forward,” she said. “I hope in five years if you have this same kind of tuition hearing that the student who comes up to speak like me isn’t telling you that they have even more student debt than I did.”

Middleton further noted that tuition increases affect a potential student’s options based on affordability, the ripple effect of which negatively impacts the workforce in Oklahoma.

“Universities are having to take an active step in asking themselves how they can do their duty in providing quality education while keeping the lights on,” she said. “So, I just ask that, going forward, you keep that in mind – not only the tough choices our universities’ administrations are having to make but the kind of financial situation it’s putting our current students in, as well as our future students.”

Following her remarks, Middleton briefly took questions from the Regents about herself, her background and her future.

Following the tuition hearing, the regents held a regularly scheduled meeting, during which RSU President Dr. Larry Rice addressed the regents. He recounted the history of Rogers State University, along with some lesser-known details about the university, including it running its own radio and television stations and being the only four-year residential university in the Tulsa metropolitan area. He also shared some RSU highlights, including the launch of a new chemical engineering degree this fall, the addition of an extended campus for RSU nursing at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, the RSU Hillcats softball team ranking in the top 10 in the nation as defending national champions, and more.

Following the meeting, the regents moved to Meyer Hall, which houses the Oklahoma Military Academy Museum, and then enjoyed a luncheon in the OMA board room with members of the RSU faculty, staff and cabinet also in attendance. The Regents visit to RSU culminated with an optional tour of the campus.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education serves as the coordinating board for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, which is the largest provider of higher education in the state.

For more information about OSRHE, visit