Institutional goals set for USAO in 2017

photo of President John Feaver

Institutional goals set for USAO in 2017


With the highest admission standards in Oklahoma’s public higher education system, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s singular purpose is to match bright and talented students with bright and talented faculty through a challenging core curriculum required from first time entering until graduation.

As a public institution, we exist to do this not as an expensive luxury for a privileged few, but rather as an accessible and affordable opportunity for all who aspire to successfully evolve through an empowered life.

For 2017, I have set forth five goals for the university that support our purpose of providing all students with a quality education that will prepare them to be successful in life. 

Statewide and national student recruitment

Over the next two years, USAO’s goal is to move to a minimum of 1,200 students enrolled. We will focus efforts on recruiting students who are seeking USAO’s type of educational environment with special sensitivity to students who are first-generation, have limited income backgrounds, and are minorities. We are also seeking to increase the number of transfer students enrolled at USAO, especially those students from two-year colleges. The university will also expand our athletic program to include reserve teams for baseball and men’s basketball, and increase the men’s soccer reserve team. By doing so, this will allow bright and talented student-athletes interested in a high-quality education the opportunity to also play a sport at the collegiate level.

Maintaining a high-quality college in the face of unrelenting state cuts to higher education

Over the last three years, USAO has received approximately $1.3 million in cuts from state appropriations. USAO’s budget is nearly $1 million less this year than when I became president in the summer of 2000. Our number one priority is to ensure we provide quality academic and support services to our students during these tough economic times in our state.

Increase non-state appropriated resources

During 2016, USAO received federal and state grants and donations from individuals, corporations and foundations totaling $7 million. In 2017, we hope to continue our momentum of raising private money, focusing primarily on student scholarships. As a public institution, we must do all we can to ensure our type of high-quality education remains both accessible and affordable to our students.

Increase collaborations with other higher education institutions

USAO is currently developing a relationship with Oklahoma City Community College to expand the post-secondary educational opportunities in Chickasha, especially in the areas of allied health and nursing.

Campus development

The historic Robertson Hall is slated to open in fall 2017 and will be used for student housing, as it was when originally opened. Once completed, we will move our focus to restoring Willard Hall to be used as additional student housing. We are also looking at increasing our wellness and athletic facilities by launching a campaign to restore the old gym and expand our playing fields. Continued campus beautification will also be a goal for the university; increasing citizens access to public art on campus.

There is no question that USAO’s loss of state support over the last decade or so has done its damage to the school. However, we are one of the few Oklahoma institutions outside of the behemoths in Norman, Stillwater and Edmond and the big urban community colleges that have been able to tap into significant sources of non-state appropriated funds: corporate and private giving; growing endowment assets, state and federal grant assistance, oil and gas, etc.

We have some exciting things happening at USAO in 2017 and I hope that you join us in accomplishing our goals and providing our students with a high-quality, accessible liberal arts education.

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