are many ways to measure success at Ozarks. Two of those measurements
include the academic quality of our student body and our total student
enrollment. At Ozarks, we continue to improve in each area. The recent
U.S. News and World Report ranking validates our academic quality. Our
fall enrollment is excellent as well with 622 students, an increase
of 4.4% over last fall. Within that 622 number, we have 248 students
who are new to the campus.
The academic quality of incoming students - in regard
to high school grade point averages and ACT and SAT scores - also continues
to improve. Intergrating the new students with our exceptional returning
students enhances our academic standards and reputation. In addition,
during each of the last two years, we have added faculty and staff to
ensure that our students are provided the same personal educational
experience and individual attention they are accustomed to receiving
at Ozarks. And our on-campus living, with the new and renovated residence
halls, has dramatically improved.
When I came to Ozarks in 1997, the Board of Trustees
presented me with several goals. One of those goals was to increase
our enrollment to 750 students with 450-500 students living on campus.
We continue to grow gradually into those numbers. At the next Board
of Trustees' meeting in October, we will have a forum, including students,
to discuss "How big do we want to get at Ozarks?" Student Government
members and other campus leaders, under Sherrie Arey's guidance, will
be seeking your suggestions and ideas. Your viewpoint is important,
and I need for you to help us address and answer this important question.
What do you think?
Dr. Rick Niece