Partnership between 2 colleges combines fiscal, educational resources

OKLAHOMA CITY - Two metro colleges have announced a partnership to combine fiscal and educational resources.

On Wednesday, presidents from Rose State College and Oklahoma City Community College will sign a memorandum of understanding to confirm the partnership in a signing ceremony.

According to OCCC President Dr. Jerry Steward, the first initiative includes OCCC and Rose State working toward issuing a joint request for proposal (RFP) for campus food services. The request will include not only cafeteria services but also catering and event servicing. It is expected to evaluate possible efficiencies and costs savings associated with both institutions contracting with the same vendor.

"The last few years, we’ve had a budget cut of over 25 percent. For us, our budget cut has been over $5 million from fiscal year 2016 to 2018. Budget cut of $5 million. That is enormous," Dr. Steward said. "It’s logical to believe that we will achieve some savings and I believe the joint RFP for food service has a potential to not only save us money, but will provide a much higher quality of service."

The two colleges are also jointly bidding on various supplies, such as cleaning and paper products as well as hardware.

Tamara Pratt, Vice President of External Affairs, said the schools have been in discussion for months. According to Pratt, this is a good opportunity to take a look at efficiency in spending.

"Where can we cut? And where can we save money for our students as well, as our institutions," she explained.

Steward told News 4 the plan also aims to reduce the "unnecessary duplication" of certain foreign courses. Rose State will continue to teach beginner Russian, while OCCC will offer intermediate French.

"Traveling between Midwest City and south Oklahoma City is not that great of a distance and it just doesn’t make sense for both of us to have those language classes, because they’re fairly limited in their appeal to community college students," he explained.

Until the plan is fully implemented, we're told it's unclear exactly how much money will be saved.

"Were going to start off relatively modestly and as we see success in some of those areas in saving money, then we’ll expand it in other areas in the future," Steward said.

The signing ceremony will take place on Wednesday at the state Capitol.