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THURSDAY AUGUST 20, 2009 ANYTIME AT OUDaily THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA’S KLAHOMA’SS INDEPENDENT INDEPENDENT STUDENT VOICE news Read about how researchers at the OU Health Sciences Center are affecting the treatment of high blood pressure. PAGE 3 com Tomorrow’s Weather The future of onee OU athlete may ay be decided insidee the courtroom m instead of on thee field. Find out thee details inside. e. PAGE 5 Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out The T Daily’s Weekend Weeken Update. PAGE 7 90°/65° OUDAILY.COM » YOU CAN TRACK THE OKLAHOMA DAILY ON TWITTER FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE DAY. VISIT TWITTER.COM TO FOLLOW @OUDAILY. OU’S BUDGET DEFIES ECONOMIC TREND Cost-cutting measures prevent students, faculty and staff from suffering with the economy CAITLIN HARRISON The Oklahoma Daily OU will see no increase in tuition and fees this year despite a near 5 percent state budget cut equaling nearly $1 million for August alone. Several cost-cutting measures the university enacted in the past few years made the steady tuition possible, including a reserve that will give OU approximately $5 to $10 million over the next few months, said Jay Doyle, university spokesman. The reserves will help the university through the next five to six months without affecting students, faculty or staff, OU President David Boren said in a statement. OU has cut other costs in the past year as well, Doyle said. The university enacted a hiring freeze as well as a faculty and staff salary freeze last fall. The cost-cutting combination saved OU about $9 or $10 million in the past year. Doyle said he hopes those measures will help OU in the long term as well. Cost-cutting at OU might not be enough, however. “If cuts of this magnitude continue, we would need assistance from the state rainyday fund to avoid more disruptive cuts before the fiscal year is over next June 30,” Boren said. Oklahoma’s rainy-day fund currently holds $596.6 million, said Shelly Paulk, revenue and budget analyst for the Office of State Finance. The fund is a bank of excess revenue set aside for times of unexpected revenue shortfall or budget deficit. If state revenue exceeds estimates for the fiscal year, the state places money in the fund at the end of that year, Paulk said. The state government can access up to three-eights of the fund if the next fiscal year’s upcoming general revenue expectations are projected by the State Board of Equalization to be lower than the previous year’s, or if the Board of Equalization believes the current fiscal year’s revenues will actually be less than 95 percent of the amount budgeted for that year, said Paulk. The state can also access one-fourth of the fund in an emergency declared by either the state Legislature or the governor. Doyle said the state Legislature has been prudent not to access the fund recently but might need to if economic circumstances become worse. Not all Big 12 schools have been as fortunate as OU, however. Doyle said some universities have raised tuition this year, including the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri. Oklahoma’s public universities made a pact not to raise tuition and fees this year, Doyle said. As far as future tuition increases at OU, Doyle said it is too early to predict. “That’s something that’s definitely going to have to be looked at,” he said. “It’s way too early to say anything along those lines. Is it a serious issue? Yes. But is it a drastic issue? No.” International Program Center moves to Hester Hall BID DAY MARKS BIG DAY FOR SORORITY PLEDGES Building aspires to house all programs in one location on campus NATASHA GOODELL The Oklahoma Daily ELI HULL/THE DAILY Members of the Delta Gamma sorority cheer outside their house Tuesday afternoon as they wait for their pledges to arrive. CHECK OUT THE FULL STORY ON PAGE 2. City freezes Porter Avenue construction Construction freeze enacted for future beautification project RICKY MARANON The Oklahoma Daily An Aug. 11 vote of five Norman city council members brought a stop to all major construction projects in the Porter Avenue Corridor, an area containing several businesses and residences in the center of Norman. “The main objective of the Porter Avenue project is to focus on a corridor that has fallen into decline,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. “We’ve had a lot of commercial encroachment into neighborhoods as well, and we need to bring back and revitalize the area.” Council members Hal Ezzell, Doug Cubberley and Tom Kovach voted against the plan because they disagreed with the delay on property improvements to homes and businesses in and around the corridor. “It is premature to have a moratorium if we don’t know what is going to come out of this project,” Ezzell said. “Not to mention, I think the area should be narrowed to affect the commercial district. I’m not ready to suspend property rights this early in the process.” The area affected by the delay extends north of Robinson Street to Castro Street along the southern edge. It also runs at least 350 feet east and west of Porter Avenue’s center line, to Findlay Avenue to the east and as far as Peters Avenue to the west, though most of the eastern border falls short of Peters Avenue. “The project is a good thing, but they shouldn’t have suspended my property rights,” Richard Mayeaux, owner of Design 2000 Flowers and Gifts located at 302 N. Porter Ave. “I have invested much in my business, and I have some plans for some improvements in the future that ... have to wait for now. They FREE — ADDITIONAL COPIES 25¢ The dream of housing all international programs in one building is becoming more likely with the International Programs Center’s move from Campus Corner to Hester Hall. The IPC is now housed with the International and Area Studies program and is in close proximity to students, International Student Services and the Education Abroad offices. “It will be good for IPC and IAS to be in one building because they will all be able to have better communication with each other,” said Holly Presnell, graduate student and academic adviser for IAS. Vice Provost for International Programs Zach Messitte said the long-term goal is to house the IPC, IAS, ISS and Education Abroad in the same building. Currently, ISS and the Education Abroad offices are located in Old Science Hall. The IPC was previously located in Whitehand Hall on the corner of University Blvd. and Boyd St. and very quiet, said IPC administrative assistant Donna Cline. “I think it will be exciting working with the students,” Cline said. “We’ll be right in the midst of them.” Presnell said she believes IPC’s presence on campus will help promote the organization. Messitte said IPC hopes to make Hester Hall a central location for all four of these programs this year and will allow all organizations to use the activity room for meetings and lectures. “It’s a small way to get people together outside of just business,” he said. IPC intends to decorate Hester Hall with international flags and artifacts so everyone will know it is an international center. “There wasn’t a designated place on campus that was international,” Messitte said. He said IPC has made small renovations to the building and if the move becomes permanent for the remaining two organizations, it is possible more renovations will take place. The activity room Messitte presented in Hester Hall is an open space designated to international club meetings and lectures. “It’s nice to have a space of our own,” graduate assistant Albert Schilthuis said. GRAPHIC PROVIDED The above graphic displays the area along Porter Avenue marked off for beautification and restoration by Norman city council members at a public meeting Aug. 11. shouldn’t have touched my property rights.” Property owners affected by the delay might still be able to perform construction projects, but will need to clear some hurdles first. “If you want to do a project in the affected area, you may file a written intent to appeal with the city clerk, and your request will be added to the next available city council agenda,” said Porter Avenue project manager Susan Atkinson. © 2009 Atkinson said petitioners do not have to receive a rejection for a building permit before filing an intent to appeal. City council staff said the reason for the moratorium was to prohibit drastic changes to the area while the corridor is being studied. “The temporary delay [on conHOUA YANG/THE DAILY struction projects] is short enough for Suzette Grillot, associate director of the International Programs the city to sustain a plan for how to Center, stands in her office located in Hester Hall on Wednesday move forward on the corridor,” Susan afternoon. Grillot teaches courses on international relations, PORTER CONTINUES ON PAGE 2 global security, and foreign policy. VOL. 95, NO. 2

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