the last Communiqué, I emphasized the positive progress
we have experienced at Ozarks: the internal successes and major strides
forward during the past six years. In this issue I want to highlight
how our reputation throughout the state, region, nation, and, yes, even
the world, continues to get better and better.
U. S. News & World Report has, for the
sixth consecutive year, ranked the University of the Ozarks as a top-tier
university in the southern region. In our category, Comprehensive Bachelor
Degree Colleges, we are tied for 9th among the 106 campuses in our region.
That is the highest ranking in the history of Ozarks. For the past two
years, we were 12th (2002) and 14th (2003).
In the category of “Great Schools, Great Prices,”
Ozarks is listed as the 3rd BEST VALUE among the 106 campuses we are
compared to. BEST VALUE equates the cost of attending a university in
relation to the quality of education its students receive. In the South,
103 campuses are looking up at us.
Our international reputation continues to improve as well. Ozarks is
ranked 1st in the South with the highest percentage of international
students, 18%. That percentage places us 2nd nationwide among all comprehensive
campuses. I am proud of our international population and the education
our graduates take back to their home countries. And I know they are
proud of the education received at Ozarks.
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is
another prestigious survey that validates our success. NSSE is an independent
survey of first-year and senior students and measures criteria such
as: a university’s extent of academic rigor; the degree of active
and collaborative learning; quality of student and faculty interactions;
and the type of supportive campus environment. Annually, Ozarks scores
consistently above both the national average and our comparative peer
groups in every category.
Very few campuses can boast about the kind of phenomenal
accomplishments we have experienced at Ozarks the past six years. I
cannot imagine anyone not boasting about us now – quiet boasting,
but boasting nonetheless. We are entitled.
Dr. Rick Niece