Volume 5  Issue # 6
Monday, November 4, 2002

The President's Post
       I can still remember how I would cringe, as a young child, each time my grandfather would tell me about how difficult times were when he was a boy. He reminisced about meals of blackbird stew (no other meat was affordable); the light from one candle shared by the entire family as they read at night (they made their own candles); no weekly allowance or pay of any type for daily chores (child labor laws were either non-existent or non-enforced); and the three-mile, roundtrip walk to his one-room school house (in some of the versions, my grandfather had shoes – in other versions, he had to walk barefoot on a gravel road).
   These grandfather stories are to give you a hint about where I am headed with this message. I am warning you that I will now start to sound like my grandfather. My issue is campus parking.
When I was a student at Ohio State University, my assigned parking during all four years was about one mile from the complex of academic buildings. And my parking permit cost $125.00 each year. I still remember the inconvenience of starting my day an hour early in order to drive, park and arrive at class on time.
   I know that parking is a concern at Ozarks. I will bet, however, that most people do not realize that 811 parking spaces are available around campus. Yes, 811! I understand that the space available at a particular time may not be the most convenient one, but a spot somewhere around campus is almost always open when needed. You may, however, have to walk a short distance. I have included a map highlighting the numerous parking lots surrounding campus. Also, please know that as we continue to grow, we plan to increase the parking at Ozarks even more.
   Most university presidents have an assigned parking space. You will notice that I do not. I like the egalitarian nature of searching for a parking space just like everyone else. Walking reminds me of my Ohio State days. And I know that, right now, my grandfather is looking down from the heavens and smiling. Lessons learned are lessons repeated.

Dr. Rick Niece

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