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
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
Dr. Rick Niece