is an honor to be a part of history, but it is even more amazing to
make it. This fall the University of the Ozarks made history, and all
of us are part of it. We have the largest on-campus enrollment in the
history of Ozarks, 731 students. In 1989, Ozarks had 726 students, and
that was the previous all-time high we surpassed.
Campus enrollment is the result of two factors: recruitment
and retention. The Admissions staff continues to do an exceptional job
of recruiting excellent students for Ozarks, students who exemplify
our mission and purpose; students who arrive on campus with the necessary
credentials for success. We also hope students come to Ozarks with the
motivation for success, but that is a requisite only they can provide.
Retention is the other primary dimension of enrollment.
A major reason for our record numbers this fall is the fact that we
retained a high percentage of students from last year. Each one of us
is to be congratulated for that. We help students, each in our own unique
way, to be successful and satisfied while they are here.
Increased enrollment is a good thing. You may not
believe it when you enter the crowded cafeteria or wait in line for
Chapel service or teach a class with a larger number of students than
our typical average. But increased enrollment is a good thing. If you
dont believe me, talk to some folks on our sister campuses where
enrollment is decreasing. Ask them how that affects campus budgets and
morale. Yes, we still need more faculty; yes, we still need more staff;
yes, we still need additional and expanded facilities. Those are the
right problems to have, and we are working on them daily. And they are
the problems that keep me awake nightly.
This is a time to feel good about our successes at
Ozarks. This is a time to feel good about the exceptional students who
attend here. This is a time to feel good about our dedicated faculty
who love what they do and do it better than anyone else. This is a time
to feel good about being on a campus that truly makes a difference.
And this is a time to congratulate ourselves for being
a part of history.
Dr. Rick Niece