Volume 7  Issue # 4
Monday, October 11, 2004

The President's Post
       In the past two issues of the Communiqué, I have focused on the tremendous strides this campus has taken during the past six years, and why we continue to gain in reputation and status. Our successes are quantifiably impressive and historically unprecedented. What other factors contribute to our success?
   I believe we are successful at Ozarks because of our emphasis on quality. We say that students and their education are the highest priorities but, quite honestly, so do a number of other campuses. However, while others talk the talk, we actually walk our claims.
   At Ozarks our small size allows us to provide personal attention. We must never grow so large that our commitment to individualized attention becomes a promise impossible to keep. How does small size equate to academic quality? The average class size at Ozarks is 16, and our student-to-faculty ratio is 14 to 1. Faculty members enhance this attention to students by serving as academic advisors and, in many cases, personal counselors. Students will not experience averages of those sizes or commitments of that depth on most campuses, public or private.
   Ninety percent of our faculty members have the highest degree offered in their discipline. Equally impressive is the fact that we use no graduate assistants to teach our classes. You need to have been taught by a graduate assistant to understand what that means. God bless graduate assistants – I was one myself – they work hard, and they are dedicated, but their top priority is not teaching. When I was an undergraduate student at Ohio State University, I did not have a real professor until the second semester of my sophomore year. We have real professors at Ozarks.
   What else makes us unique? The Ozarks’ campus is a clean, well-kept, safe, Christian environment nestled in an unbelievably picturesque setting. Every building is new or renovated since 1996, and we have no long-term debt. I think we sometimes take the beauty of this campus for granted. I think we sometimes become so accustomed to this extraordinary campus that we become oblivious and overlook the obvious.
   Is there room for improvement at Ozarks? You bet there is, and we continue to dream, plan, move forward, and improve. But I cannot imagine a better place to learn, to teach, and to work. If you know of somewhere better, please let me know. I promise to visit you there.

Dr. Rick Niece

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