The setting itself provided a valuable backdrop for what makes the Chillicothe Campus such a unique learning environment during the campus’ spring quarter convocation Wednesday, April 7.
“The Learning Commons – as much as any facility on any campus in the state – represents what can happen when you truly take a student-focused approach in your actions and not just your words,” OU-C Dean Richard Bebee said in addressing the campus community. “Remember a few years ago when this was largely unused space except for some vending machines. Now, look around and what do you see? This is a student center that rivals any campus in the state, commuter or residential.”
Wednesday’s event was the last quarterly session for Dean Bebee, who is transitioning into other roles with the university July 1. The dean’s perspective included both a retrospective look at his time on campus and a view of OU-C’s promising future.
“The last nine years have been a great ride,” he said. “When I first came here, I saw a campus with a strong tradition and limitless potential. As I begin my last academic quarter as dean, I continue to see a campus with a strong tradition and limitless potential. This is a campus on the move, and I am convinced that OU-C is positioned for its finest hour.”
Enrollment continues to be positive. Preliminary figures for winter quarter indicated headcount of 2,127 students and full-time equivalency (FTE) of 1,776 students. This represents a 13 percent growth in terms of headcount and 15 percent increase in FTE numbers. Preliminary estimates for spring quarter indicate continued strong numbers.
“As I have said before, the real significance of what we do is not measured in enrollment numbers, but rather in the ability to utilize higher education to improve the quality of life for regional residents,” Bebee said.
As transformational advances such as the Parkway Project, which greatly enhances the entry to campus, illustrate change is a constant theme at OU-C. However, as Dean Bebee pointed out, OU-C is founded on standards that remain intact.
“OU-C’s core values remain intact. Since its founding as the first regional campus in the state, the focus of the Chillicothe Campus has been on serving our students and serving our region.” “These are banner days. Let’s seize the moment. Or, as I often say, let’s have fun,” he closed by saying.