am always amazed by negative thinking and cynical naysayers. Fortunately,
throughout my life, I have been able to avoid most of the world’s
doom and gloomers. Granted, my colleagues at times think I am a bit
naïve in my optimism. But I much prefer being encircled in my naiveté
than being entrenched in the negativity of others. And that is the reason
I love to promote a positive spirit at Ozarks. In this President’s
Post and the next two, I will highlight all that we have to be
proud about, even in the face of a challenging budget.
The continued downward economic turn has affected
our donor base and donors’ ability to give at the levels they
previously had. In Arkansas, the recent 4% drop in family incomes and
lower employment rates have caused a hardship for students wanting to
attend a prestigious, yet more expensive, private campus like Ozarks.
The lackluster economy affects our budget. Yet, despite all of this,
we operate effectively, efficiently, and with success.
In case anyone has forgotten, and for those of you
who are new to Ozarks, I want to recap our recent phenomenal progress,
and how far we have come in such a short time. Institutional memory
1998 = $28 million
2004 = $59 million
1998 = 530 students
2004 = 628 students
1998 = 346
2004 = 392
NUMBER OF FACULTY
1998 = 31
2004 = 43
We have a great deal to be proud of at Ozarks. Very
few campuses have seen the type of progress and successful growth we
have. And guess what? Things will continue to get even better. We have
much to be grateful for at Ozarks.
Dr. Rick Niece