Spring 2024: Welcome Back

President Kayla Hale sitting on a couch with her legs crossed, holding a coffee cup.
President Kayla Hale

Dear Drover Family,  

We have had a great start to the 2024 spring semester! The return of students, faculty and staff to campus always brings new energy into the beginning of the trimester.   

Setting the stage for the new year, I am pleased to share with you the current initiatives and future-focused goals we are embracing for our university.  

In recent months, our dedicated leadership team has been working on strategic planning for the coming year. It is a process filled with optimism as we continue to provide the outstanding education that defines USAO.  

Of course, enrollment will always be the No. 1 priority of the university. However, at USAO we are not just focused on the numbers; we are committed to creating an environment where every student thrives. For fall 2024, our goal is to have an overall enrollment of 1,000 students, including full-time, part-time, online and concurrent. Currently, we remain committed to achieving this milestone and your continued support is instrumental.  

We have been meeting with area high school superintendents to determine how USAO can better serve their schools through concurrent enrollment. I am excited about the partnerships we have been creating and the connections that are strengthening our educational outreach. We will do all we can to encourage more high school juniors and seniors to begin their college experience at USAO before even graduating high school.  

Academically, we have been examining our curriculum to ensure our offerings are relevant and aligned with today’s workforce needs. I am excited to reintroduce computer science as a baccalaureate program at USAO. Other majors and courses are under discussion, and I look to our exceptional faculty to lead us in these processes.   

To better meet the scheduling needs of current and incoming students, we are expanding the times classes are offered to include evening and weekend classes. For students wanting the quality education found at USAO, but are unable to make it to campus, they can now earn their bachelor’s in business administration 100% online through USAOonline.  

Our newly created Office of Grants & Contracts is hard at work to increase our state and federal funding through active grants submissions. At the end of 2023, USAO was awarded a $1.9 million U.S. Department of Education grant, our third through the Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (NASNTI) program. I am confident this momentum will grow in 2024.  

In Athletics, we are in the very early stages of considering expansion with the addition of one NAIA sport. We will be conducting a cost-benefit analysis to determine the feasibility. Look for more updates later in the year. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention we have set ambitious fundraising goals for the new year. This year, our goal is to double our private giving from not only generous donors like you, but also through major gift solicitations. Fundraising for the renovation of Willard Hall, where I once lived (Room 102), will be a top priority. Your support of all our endeavors makes an impact and is deeply appreciated. For current or deferred giving opportunities, please go to for more information 

I am eager to witness the continued advancement of our university and the collective impact we can make. Thank you for being an integral part of the USAO journey. I look forward to seeing you on campus soon. 

With all good thoughts, 

Kayla Hale, PhD 
University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma 

About the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma 

As Oklahoma’s liberal arts college, the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma provides a distinctive education in the liberal arts and sciences, supporting both its interdisciplinary core curriculum and major fields of study with superior teaching. USAO fosters diversity of thought and practice to help students realize meaningful, purposeful and productive lives as global citizens in a rapidly changing world.