Last week the Board of Trustees and a number
of us from campus met in Little Rock for a three-day retreat. The purpose
of our meeting was fourfold: to approve the 2003-2004 budget; to review
the recent North Central report and recommendations; to discuss vision
and plans in the academic programs; and to continue discussions about
long-range planning for Ozarks future. The retreat was lively,
productive, and very successful. In the next issue of the Communique,
I will share an overview of the approved budget and its implications.
One of my goals during the retreat was for Board members
to endorse several broad planning assumptions that will serve as the
foundation for our next strategic plan. We have extensively discussed
and debated these assumptions as a campus community, and I believe they
will assist us in planning for the next 5-10 years. My hope is that
the assumptions will provide us a focused direction and help us continue
to define who we are and what we do well at Ozarks. Most importantly,
as the future of Ozarks is a concern to all of us, your ideas and insights
are always welcomed. Let me know what you think.
1. Accept our Mission Statement as currently written.
2. Serve students as a mission-driven campus.
3. Affirm our niche as a comprehensive bachelor degree
university, merging a liberal arts foundation with professional preparation.
4. Focus on traditional undergraduate education (offer
no master degree programs, accelerated degree programs,
or off-campus locations).
5. Promote a need-based and supportive student directed
A. academic assistance;
B. personal, social, and spiritual
C. financial need;
D. cultural enrichment;
E. campus diversity.
6. Target an enrollment of approximately 750 students
(700-720 full-time equivalency) and cap enrollment at that point.
7. House 475-500 students on campus.
8. Continue to recruit students who are a good match
with Ozarks and our Mission.
9. Maintain an average class size of 16-17 and a student
to faculty ratio of 15 or 16 to 1.
10. Remain fiscally responsible within the context
of our Mission.
Dr. Rick Niece