The purpose of the Oklahoma Independent Colleges & Universities (OICU) is to support and promote the values of independent higher education and especially to support and promote independent colleges and universities in Oklahoma. The OICU seeks to serve as an efficient and effective vehicle for the business community, foundations and individuals to support Oklahoma independent higher education; to interpret the aims, functions and needs of the member college and universities to the public, to the legislature, and to federal and state agencies so as to enhance and assist consultation, collaboration and cooperation among its members as to academic programs, research, services, and community service.
The OICU is the only statewide organization that serves exclusively the interest of independent higher education within the state of Oklahoma. The presidents of the accredited intuitions in Oklahoma organized the Oklahoma Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in 1981. In 1988, the association merged with the Oklahoma Independent College Foundation (OICF), which was formed in 1952. In 1999, the OICF became the OICU and is governed by a board of directors composed of business and community leaders from across the state and the presidents of each of the member intuitions.
The OICU is particularly involved in policy issues relating to student aid and the inclusion of independent colleges in state postsecondary initiatives and activities, such as: teacher education and enrollment and retention improvements. the oicu works at the federal level with corresponding state executives and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). OICU cooperates with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on programs that are of mutual benefits to the public and private intuitions.
The OICU’s research and data collection activities are designed to contribute to public policy development and support research and institutional planning on member campuses. Some of the recent reports have included fall enrollment, health insurance surveys and administrative salaries.