Volume 6  Issue # 4
Monday, October 13, 2003

The President's Post
       This fall Board of Trustee meeting was a pretty amazing event. We celebrated the successful completion of our five-year TO PRESERVE THE PRIDE, TO KEEP THE PROMISE Campaign, and we honored our donors, faculty, and staff for all they did and continue to do for Ozarks. Most of all, we reminded ourselves once again that the University of the Ozarks has one primary focus, one unified purpose: the education of students. All in all, it was a wonder-filled weekend, one for the history books.
   Our Board of Trustee meetings are typically celebrations of one kind or another. Those of you who have attended the various committee meetings and the full Board meeting on Saturday know exactly what I mean. Believe me, Board of Trustee meetings on most other campuses are not like ours at Ozarks. At many other universities, Board meetings are cloaked in secrecy with Board members, not wanting to be noticed and usually getting their wish, drifting on and off campus like shadowy figures of the night. That certainly isn’t the case at Ozarks.
   Faculty, staff, and students not only are invited to the variety of committee meetings, they are encouraged to participate, to question, and to interact with Board members. Because of this openness and honesty, the Board learns what’s good about our campus, what needs to be fixed, what should be changed, what is working, and what is not. And they learn those things from all of you. Our participatory nature is our strength.
   Budgets are complex to build and balance; endowments are complicated to understand, especially restricted endowments and their fixed spending rates; policies and regulations are difficult to establish, follow, and enforce; and campus communities, with individual needs, interests, and priorities, are a challenge to govern. But we are managing quite well at Ozarks, and I truly believe that is because of our open, honest style.
   My favorite time during each Board of Trustee visit is the Friday lunch in the Student Center before the meetings officially begin. Watching Board members sitting among all of you – conversing, questioning, listening, laughing – is a highpoint for me, and also another sight not seen on many other campuses. We have so much to learn from one another, and I continue to learn from all of you. Thanks for sharing!

Dr. Rick Niece

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