Board of Regents

Address: 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone # Number: (405) 521-2411
Fax: (405) 521-2501
Email:

Contact: Doug Wilson Phone Number: 521-2411
Room 220 Student Union
Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074

Board of Regents e-mail address:

Contact information for the OSU/A&M Board of Regents is:
Voice: (405) 521-2411 Fax: (405) 521-2501 Email:

Current Board of Regents membership:
Mr. V. Burns Hargis (OKC) – Chairman
Mr. Joe D. Hall (Elk City) – Vice Chairman
Mr. Douglas E. Burns (Norman)
Dr. Claud D. Evans (Okemah)
Mr. Fred C. Harlan (Okmulgee)
Mr. Jay Helm (Tulsa)
Mr. Edward F. Keller (Tulsa)
Mr. Terry L. Peach (Mooreland)
Mrs. Lou Watkins (Stillwater)
Executive Secretary – Dr. W. Douglas Wilson

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6 Responses to Board of Regents

  1. Tamara Colbert Maschino says:

    TO: OSU BOARD OF REGENTS
    FROM: TAMARA COLBERT-MASCHINO
    SUBJECT: OSU MASTER PLAN
    DATE: 11/30/2005
    Dear Board of Regents:

    Only a few weeks ago, our family discovered that Oklahoma State University was not the institution of integrity that we had believed during the decades of living in Stillwater. Indeed, it is a lack of integrity and respect for the community and families of Stillwater that has been the most shocking revelation. The OSU Master Plan designed to wipe out long established neighborhoods in order to place a Athletic Village and sports facilities for a select few athletes has been poorly planned with secretive meetings and allowing no true public input from the citizens of Stillwater. Is it any wonder that the community of Stillwater is in an uproar, we expected more from the University that the community has supported, is this proper payback for our loyalty?

    Now is the time for OSU to step back and take a long look at this process and begin to repair the incalculable damage it has incurred to the community of Stillwater and the residents and stakeholders in the affected areas. The harm is incredible, at the present level of poor consideration and compensation there is no way that these families will remain whole and intact, as they were before this property takeover. And that is just what it is, a takeover, designed in the style of Boone Pickens, Professional Corporate Raider.

    This community is being left to fend for itself, homeowners living in their homes for decades are being forced to relocate without any assistance from the University. The University should be paying for an impartial relocation team that would help residents and renters find lodging, assist in arranging for moves and paying for closing costs on new homes, temporary lodging, utility hookups, and every cost associated with moving. There are long time seniors such as my mother who hasn’t had a mortgage in years and never expected to move again at the age of 77. With the tight housing market in Stillwater, fair market value will not allow her to remain living at the same level of housing. She knows her home, and has maintained it well, our family does not want her to suffer anymore especially with a stressful move to lesser home. These folks should be given replacement value for their homes, this is not a voluntary sale, OSU needs to repair the damage done and do the right thing. The stress on my mother and these residents is horrifying, we are deeply concerned about the health effects from the daily worry, my mother will never feel secure in her home again, shame on you Oklahoma State. Replacement Value should also paid to those moving their homes, they should receive reimbursement on home moving and set up. Consideration should be given to additional future expenses such as increased property taxes, these seniors had their expenses carefully planned, the worry over additional future expenses is taking a toll and adding to the stress load.

    There are other inequities in this poorly planned property takeover, the seniors and students living in rental properties in this area. Where will they live, who is looking out for them? We have heard from seniors living on fixed incomes that have been in their rental homes for years, no one is helping them find similar rentals. They are being priced out; no longer is Stillwater an affordable place to live. What will happen to them, many are retired from OSU, again, shame on you OSU! What about the students, inexpensive housing has been the way many students are able to go to college, again, no one is considering the 1500 plus renters in this area.

    And finally what considerations are being given to property owners of rentals, they deserve replacement costs and rental loss of income. We have talked to many seniors, they carefully planned this rental income for their retirement, and OSU takes that income away. There is no way they can come out whole and purchase rental property with only fair market compensation. Many of these rental properties are part of a family business, this income is being wiped out and will cause hardships on these families.

    The stress from a forced sale and relocation is considered to be second only to the loss of a loved one. OSU needs to abate the stress as much as possible by taking a long hard look at the process and handle this property takeover in a decent respectful manner. Proper compensation and relocation assistance is the only solution here other than building elsewhere. The heavy handed and secretive tactics will take many years to repair, trust in OSU has virtually vanished. The University’s reputation is at stake, support is eroding from the community and alumni, and it is time for a change, time for a new direction, and time to repair the damage. You, the Board of Regents , must vote responsibly and then develop a sound compensation plan that includes all aspects of the communities affected. Anything less is not acceptable.

    Sincerely,

    Tamara Colbert-Maschino
    Hazel Colbert

  2. Lynda Halley says:

    FLASHPOINT!

    On today’s “Flashpoint” introduction, Burns Hargis was quesionned by Mike Turpin (paraphrased) “Hey, I heard eminent domain has been threatened.”

    Burns’ reply (actual quote), “Oh! That is so remote!”

    No, Burns, the threat has been made — and it is affecting people emotionally and, from at least one account, financially. The emotional reaction should be more than obvious and now, we’re hearing that the ability to obtain financing to purchase a home on my parents’ street, Knapp (out of the proposed area altogether) was denied.

    We obviously have a LOT more work to do!

    I’m not so sure an impression has been made YET on the administration and Regents.

    I’m taping the rest of the “Flashpoint” broadcast.

  3. admincrusher says:

    That answer was given so quickly that It was a bit difficult to understand what was said.

    This whole thing has gone a bit to quick.

  4. Marion Agnew says:

    A Recap, Looking Forward: Two Dozen Reasons to Continue to Oppose OSU’s Master Plan

    This is meant simply as a reminder. Each person opposed to the plan may not agree with these reasons, and people may be motivated by other reasons — but here are 24.

    1. Building an athletic village will not make OSU’s teams perform better, nor will it increase tourism by drawing hordes of tourists to Stillwater.
    2. The threatened use of eminent domain – no matter how far the administration tries to back away from its threat – has unfairly lowered the market price of homes and businesses in the affected area. The damage is done.
    3. An athletic village can easily be located elsewhere on land that OSU already owns. Using this land would let OSU preserve its formerly friendly relationship with the City of Stillwater and Stillwater residents.
    4. U.S. Census data and OSU’s enrollment patterns show a marked decrease in the total number of students attending OSU-Stillwater from now until 2025. If OSU-Tulsa grows, OSU-Stillwater will decline further. OSU should focus on improving its academic programs to attract as many students as possible.
    5. Displacing residents, both owners and renters, from their homes for a project that provides no public benefit is illegal, as well as immoral and unethical. It’s not the action of a respected institution of higher education.
    6. Legal restrictions on the use of eminent domain may leave OSU liable to class action lawsuits. If its own statements are to be believed, OSU may not even be eligible to use eminent domain to acquire property.
    7. The process used to develop the Master Plan was botched. The announcement of the Master Plan was botched. The entire planning process, as well as the public relations effort behind it, have been disastrous. The current OSU Administration may not have the professional skill necessary to develop a reasonable plan and see it to completion.
    8. Athletic success is a function of good recruiting and top-notch coaching – not an athletic village. The Master Plan does not include funding for better coaching or recruiting.
    9. OSU alumni are voicing doubts about donating to OSU. Some have already indicated that they won’t support the school financially. How exactly is the Master Plan creating a groundswell of alumni support for OSU?
    10. Students do not attend OSU because of its sports programs. Students want a good and affordable education that gives them a shot at a good job. If they think OSU is all about athletics, they will not enroll.
    11. OSU has been unable to gain the support of all of Stillwater’s elected officials or the community as a whole for its Master Plan. A large donation to OSU should be a cause for rejoicing, in both the city of Stillwater and at OSU – but OSU’s focus on pleasing one outside donor, at the expense of community goodwill and common sense, makes this donation a burden.
    12. Expanding OSU’s athletic facilities will cause maintenance and support costs to skyrocket. There’s no budget for this. New facilities could even take money from the current operating budget. There have already been appeals for donors to step up their giving to help offset the extra costs that will be incurred as a result of the “gift” of 165 million dollars. Alumni giving to athletics isn’t going to academics.
    13. Even though the Regents have not yet approved any part of the Master Plan, OSU behaves as if approval is guaranteed. After intimidating property owners, OSU is proceeding with “voluntary” purchases of property, in an effort to show the Regents that the property owners are “cooperating” and “supportive” of the plan and that the Regents should approve it. This attitude is insulting to the Regents, to say nothing of the property owners.
    14. In the Master Plan, some buildings, such as a parking garage, are called “non-athletic” improvements and are lumped with actual academic facilities to make it look as if more money is set aside for academics than is the case.
    15. Few properties in Stillwater are comparable in price to those that the residents are being forced out of. They have no choice but to pay more for housing – if they can afford to.
    16. If displaced students have to pay higher rent costs, they may not be able to afford to stay at OSU. Enrollment will drop further.
    17. OSU faculty, staff, and student groups do not support the current Master Plan.
    18. OSU insults those who oppose the plan by claiming that they do not understand it and are against progress.
    19. Alumni support OSU’s teams, win or lose. Meanwhile, students, prestige, and research dollars come only to those universities that have high-quality academic programs.
    20. Claims that the athletics village will bring economic development to the city are unsubstantiated estimates. Any short-term increase in employment, mostly in construction jobs, would be offset by losses in utility payments and property taxes. Once construction was completed, any economic benefits would cease. A better economic development investment would be to put money into programs that commercialize research results from OSU’s academic laboratories. Creating home-grown high-tech companies brings permanent, higher-paying jobs and provides long-term benefits to the entire Stillwater area.
    21. Even after the Regents’ vote was postponed, the OSU Administration didn’t seek substantive changes to the Master Plan – they just tried to “better explain” what was, and is still, a bad plan. They’ve acted in bad faith.
    22. OSU’s new “bad neighbor” policy threatens the rights of all property owners and businesses in town. Whose business or home is safe?
    23. The media now characterize OSU as a school that is “all about football,” and T. Boone Pickens as the “owner” of OSU athletics, with Schmidly as the President and Holder as the CEO. At the moment, OSU is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a Tier 3 school. A reputation for being “all about football” won’t recruit top-quality students seeking an outstanding education or improve OSU’s ranking in a poll that matters.
    24. The Boone State comic strip (http://boonestate.blogspot.com/) is entertaining, but in the end, the Master Plan fiasco – though rich with comic potential – is still a fiasco.

  5. Marion Agnew says:

    Sent to the Board of Regents January 22, 2006:

    Dear Regents:

    At OSU’s Fall 2005 commencement, T. Boone Pickens mentioned that he doesn’t have a five-year plan. However, his sense of urgency shouldn’t influence you. You should not hurry to approve OSU’s Master Plan.

    In fact, Mr. Pickens’ gift raises significant issues relating to the Master Plan and the athletics village. A multimillion-dollar organization such as the OSU System should carefully consider many issues of long-term importance before it jumps into a project. The attached report, “OSU’s Master Plan: Strategic Issues” considers information relating to location, eminent domain, long-term support, leadership, public relations, and data.

    Among its conclusions:
    • There’s no evidence that locating the athletics village north of McElroy, in the core of Stillwater, is the best option.
    • OSU should find a location for its athletics village that doesn’t depend on using its right of eminent domain.
    • OSU must demonstrate plans for solid ongoing financial support for any new facilities, academic or athletic, in the event that alumni donations don’t increase as hoped.
    • The current OSU leader doesn’t seem to demonstrate the general leadership skill necessary to guide OSU through this crucial time.
    • OSU’s relationships, both internal and external, have suffered, and its efforts to mend them have not been successful – yet its future success will depend more heavily on these relationships.
    • Wise use of this $165 million can best be determined by thoughtful consideration of data in the areas of demographics, economic development, and alumni giving.

    Mr. Pickens is fond of telling business leaders to avoid the “Ready, aim, aim, aim, aim” approach to business – they need to give the command to fire. However, in this situation, your job as Regents is to prevent OSU from taking the “Ready, fire, aim” approach.

    As the Board of Regents, your responsibility is to ensure the system-wide long-term success of OSU. As intelligent, educated OSU alumni, you have expertise in thinking critically, setting goals, and evaluating alternatives. You have demonstrated success in public and private life.

    Now is the time to bring all your education and experience to the table to contemplate the problems and opportunities before you. Oklahoma’s citizens depend on you.

    Sincerely,
    Marion Agnew
    Former Stillwater Resident
    Graduate, C. E. Donart High School

  6. Tamara Colbert Maschino says:

    Letter to Governor

    February 9, 2006

    Governor Brad Henry
    2300 N. Lincoln Blvd
    Room 212
    Oklahoma City, OK 73105

    Oklahoma State University
    Board of Regents
    2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105

    Dear Governor Brad Henry, and OSU Board of Regents:

    Our family home of 57 years in the City of Stillwater is located in the planned athletic village acquisition area and is targeted for eminent domain. My mother Hazel Colbert is heartbroken over the possibility of losing her cherished home where she and my father raised their family and created so many memories. She is 78 years old and planned her retirement carefully, working hard to pay off her mortgage and completely remodeling her home to suit her life in the later years. She has spent more than 45,000 dollars in a twelve year project on her home in various projects from new roofing, heating, sewer lines, kitchen, bathroom remodels and so on.

    The abrupt manner that Oklahoma State University informed my mother that she would lose her home has been devastating. Not a day goes by that she does not think about it, always worrying about her future. This is not how she planned her retirement years to become. The situation has become even bleaker with the news of how OSU is handling appraisals and making offers on homes in this area.

    We are getting reports back on these appraisals and OSU is offering extremely low offers. Several offers were 45 to 55% below current Payne County Tax Assessments. This was over 50% below what the homeowner could have sold their home on the open market. It appears as if OSU is using the old Payne County Tax Assessments which are based on years old data. New assessments have been completed in this area as property values have risen in the past four years. OSU is not using the new assessments and even worse, not telling homeowners that the value on their homes has gone up. We feel that OSU is trying to rush appraisals before homeowners receive the new valuations in the mail. They are not considering the true market value of these homes. This is bargain basement real estate on the most vulnerable of our society. OSU has the funds available, why are they treating homeowners in such a disrespectful manner. They are not acting as promised, and that needs to change. If they want the land so desperately, they need to do the proper thing and keep the homeowner or property owner whole and intact.

    These mainly senior citizens will be unable to purchase another property at the low amount offered without having to obtain a mortgage. The housing market in Stillwater has escalated in value and these senior citizens will be priced out of the housing market. They are having to make hard decisions that they should not have to do at this time in their lives. Unable to purchase another home, they may be forced to rent for the first time in many years. It has been calculated that the low amount of funds received for homes would be gone in less than 7 years if having to rent or pay mortgages. These seniors have paid taxes and worked hard all their lives, is this how we reward them? These folks have not had a mortgage in years, this was not in their budgetary plans for retirement. Why should they give up a comfortable paid for home for an uncertain future in a lesser situation and then have to pay more for that privilege?

    Governor Henry, Board of Regents, why is OSU behaving in such a manner and why is OSU cheating homeowners out of their hard earned homes? This is unconciousable, OSU has the funds available , why are they treating homeowners in such a disrespectful manner.

    This situation must be addressed immediately, people are losing homes and being paid far less than they should to keep them in good shape for the future. OSU has offered a pittance of a yearly bonus, only $300 per year, this is insulting. This area has become prime real estate due to the close proximity to campus and central location in the City of Stillwater, it is further desirable because of the intense need for this location. These senior citizens and property owners are giving up so much for so very little in return. Many of these longtime owners are ill and unable to move, many are home bound and had wished to stay in their homes for the rest of their lives. Uprooting these homeowners abruptly and without regard for their welfare is immoral and we cannot allow it to happen. OSU must be held accountable for it’s actions. These homeowners need an impartial advocate not connected to the university in any manner to help these in need.

    Homeowners and property owners should be paid well for losing their cherished homes, and not so far below assessed values that they end up in financial distress just because OSU thinks it needs an athletic village.

    You must take action now to insure that homeowners are treated more than fairly. They should be paid at least double or triple current Payne County Assessed valuations, this is to ensure being able to purchase another home in Stillwater’s housing market and to pay the extra taxes and insurance on these homes. OSU has not acted in good faith as promised and has not helped our homeowners in any manner. We are deeply disappointed in this entire project and are concerned that our needs are being ignored.

    Sincerely,
    Tamara Colbert-Maschino Hazel Colbert

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