TOKYO — The University of Oklahoma lost its contract for graduate programs at military bases in the Pacific, according to an Air Force official who oversees some education contracts.
The university’s contract in Europe, however, will not be affected.
For six years, the school has offered three programs in the Pacific — public administration, economics and human relations — according to Laura Dean, program manager for U.S. Pacific Command’s education services contracts. That contract will expire in August, and no new contract for the school was awarded, Dean said this week during a phone interview from PACAF’s headquarters in Hawaii.
Students currently enrolled with Oklahoma will have to make other arrangements to complete their degrees, Dean said.
About 1,500 students currently attend classes at the 17 Oklahoma University sites in Europe, a university official said Tuesday afternoon.
But there has been a decline in enrollment in Europe as well, said retired Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon, director of the university’s advanced military programs.
OU’s contract in Europe is up for renewal in 2012.
"It’s a wake-up call that we have to get out and recruit students," Aragon said, about the recent decision in the Pacific.
The military currently contracts with five universities in the Pacific, including Oklahoma, for course work toward high school, vocational, undergraduate and graduate degrees.
From August 2007 to July 2008, the five schools attracted 55,000 class enrollments in the Pacific, Dean said. Those eligible to take the classes include servicemembers, military family members, military workers, State Department workers and others with permission to come on base.
Dean said she did not know how many students would be affected by the ending of the University of Oklahoma contract.