Monday, June 30, 2008
George Kaiser Family Foundation Makes $25 Million Gift to Tulsa-area Colleges and UniversitiesAdditional matching funds from State and a private donor create $68 million in total impact
TULSA - The George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) has contributed $25 million to enhance higher education programs in the Tulsa area.
The gift will be made in the form of endowed faculty funds at Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and Tulsa Community College.
With this gift, the Foundation aims to improve several priority needs in the community including health and social services, education, engineering and technology and vocational training. The public institutions will use the funds to expand academic programs by adding key faculty and increasing student enrollment.
“Over the last decade Tulsa has made great progress in expanding higher education in the community and in so doing has created a workforce better suited to Tulsa's needs and its future growth,” said George Kaiser Family Foundation Executive Director Ken Levit. “The Foundation is pleased to invest in these efforts, utilizing the leverage made available in the closing days of the State Regents’ one-to-one matching program, in order to see further enhancement of these institutions and their programs in Tulsa.”
The Foundation's gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the State of Oklahoma under the endowed chair matching program. All gifts qualifying for the dollar-for-dollar match must be received by July 1 of this year due to recent changes to the program’s matching rate.
Gifts to each university were determined based on each organization’s individual needs and its potential to deliver impact through program expansion in a way that aligned with both the Foundation’s mission and the Tulsa-area community’s priorities.
The institutions and GKFF now will work together to develop plans for expanding their academic programs using this gift. Details are expected to be finalized in approximately one year, although each university has initial areas of focus for the funds.
Tulsa Community College will expand programs including Allied Health, Early Childhood Education, Counseling, and the Family Sciences with a gift from GKFF of $4 million. By improving these programs, the university expects to help Tulsa gain more teachers and graduates who can work in social service organizations.
“The George Kaiser Family Foundation has been a significant partner with Tulsa Community College as the College has sought to create one of the leading child development programs for two-year colleges in the county,” said Tulsa Community College President & CEO Tom McKeon. “The $4 million endowment for academic chairs to be matched by the state, thereby providing $8 million, will give Tulsa Community College a level of academic excellence nearly unparalleled among community colleges in the country. This gift will allow TCC to focus on significant academic programs, particularly those where the Kaiser Foundation and TCC share a vision for education and community building, including programs in nursing and dental hygiene; criminal education, rehabilitation and reform; and, biotechnology.”
The Oklahoma State University gift of $9 million will benefit all three Tulsa-area OSU affiliates – OSU-Tulsa, OSU Center for Health Sciences and OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee. The funds will be used to add faculty in areas such as Osteopathic Medicine, Health Promotion, Human Development and Family Sciences, and vocational job training.
The GKFF gift to OSU will be doubled by T. Boone Pickens, who in May gave $100 million for endowed professorships and chairs and generously agreed that his donation could be used to match other donor gifts to faculty chairs and professorships in the area of the donor’s choice, and in the name of their choice. Combined, the gifts by GKFF and Pickens will total $18 million for use by OSU in the Tulsa area.
“Oklahoma State University is extremely grateful to George Kaiser and the George Kaiser Family Foundation for this wonderful gift and for his vision and on-going commitment to higher education,” said Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis. “This generous gift will make a lasting difference in the Tulsa area and because it will be matched by T. Boone Pickens’ historic $100 million donation, as well as the state, the gift will have an ultimate impact of $36 million for OSU programs on our campuses at OSU-Tulsa, Center for Health Sciences and Okmulgee.”
The University of Oklahoma – Tulsa will receive $12 million to support programs such as Early Childhood Education, the School of Community Medicine and likely others. Preliminary discussions for additional faculty include the Schools of Social Work, Urban Design and Engineering.
"The George Kaiser Family Foundation, through its generosity, continues to change the lives of countless numbers of people,” said University of Oklahoma President David Boren. “OU will work with the Foundation to maximize the educational impact of this new $12 million gift and focus it on areas of need in Tulsa and the surrounding area."
Tulsa Community College
918-595-7977 or 810-8587
Oklahoma State University
University of Oklahoma-Tulsa