Western to present successes

Complying with HLC criteria for accreditation

by Michael Bush - fbush@civitasmedia.com

At Western Oklahoma State College’s Board of Regents meeting this week, Dr. Phil Birdine, Western President, presented the President’s report and recommendations. He told the Board that the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) recently invited Western administration to present to the Committee of the Whole and other guests, regarding Western’s success in complying with Higher Learning Commission criteria for accreditation. The presentation will be given on Wednesday, Sept. 2, and will involve Birdine, Lisa Greenlee and Melissa Smith. Greenlee is Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Smith is the Coordinator of Online Education.

According to a release issued by the college on Wednesday about the meeting, it was said that Birdine also updated the Board on his drafting of evaluation instruments to be used by the Board to conduct regular reviews of the President. Birdine further informed the Board that he had drafted evaluation instruments that would be used by the President to evaluate members of the Executive Council. He also informed the Board of the Regents Education Program scheduled for Sept. 22 at the OSRHE complex. The program is a training opportunity for newly appointed regents and a chance to earn continuing education credits.

Lisa Greenlee then presented a request for the Board to approve a letter of intent to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education requesting approval to provide four of the college’s existing degrees electronically. Those programs are the Associate of Arts in Behavioral Science; Associate of Arts in Social Science, Religion Option; Associate of Science in Business, and the Business Administration and Computer Science Information Systems Options. In addition, Western is also seeking approval for electronic delivery of five new degree options – Certificates of Mastery in Infant and Toddler, Foster Care, Parenting and Child Studies and After School Age Care and the Associate of Applied Science-Military Studies in traditional and electronic formats. The board voted on and approved the letter of intent.

Greenlee also updated the board on the status of an agreement with Ft. Sill to provide instruction for its warrant officer program. The Memorandum of Understanding with Ft. Sill will be completed once some details of the agreement are finalized. Greenlee reported that Oct. 1 is the targeted roll-out date of the program.

This week’s meeting began with recognition of Mark Dodson, outgoing Board of Regents Chair, for his outstanding service in the office during the 2014-15 academic year. The Board of Regents Chair, Dr. Dana Darby, presented Dodson with a plaque commemorating his term.

Also at the meeting, Mike Tucker represented the Faculty Senate and thanked the board for giving them the opportunity to take part in shared governance of college academic affairs. He also told the board that Lisa Chaney is this year’s Faculty Senate Secretary, and that Jacqueline Bellamy will serve as the Technical Education Representative. Tucker will serve as the Academic Representative on the Dean’s Council and on the Administrative Council.

Melissa Smith presented a proposal regarding the newly drafted Staff Senate Constitution. She began by recapping the process that formed the Senate, which began last year. The Senate organizational process began by taking nominations for departmental senators, followed by the election of the senators and the drafting of a Senate Constitution. After several drafts and a final review by Western’s Executive Council, the constitution was completed in July 2015. Smith also previewed the Staff Senate website and informed the Board of the intention to form Senate subcommittees when appropriate. The board voted on and approved the Staff Senate Constitution.

Larry Duffy updated the Board on WOSC Foundation, Inc. activities and programs. He reported that the Foundation holds approximately $7M in assets, of which $194K is distributed back to the college in scholarships and other support. He thanked the board for supporting the recent Jim Holland Memorial Golf Tournament which raised $14K in funds, bringing the total endowment to approximately $240K. He also highlighted the Partners in Education Excellence Program totaling $875K, the President’s Partners Program and the Payroll Deduction program. Duffy reported that the Foundation is currently involved in its annual audit and that he will return with its results at the October Board meeting.

Aftern an executive session, the Regents approved the personnel employments of Albert Rivera, Softball Coach; Stacy King, Freshman Nursing Instructor (Altus) and Diane Fairchild, Sophomore Nursing Instructor (Altus). The board also approved the personnel resignations of Mike McBrayer, Softball Coach; Jason Miller, Retention/Advisement Specialist; Justin O’Neil, WINDS Clerk and Matt Craig, Biology Instructor.

Guests in attendance included Lisa Greenlee, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Tricia Latham, Vice President for Business Affairs; Chad Wiginton, Vice President for Student Support Services; Mike Tucker, Faculty Senate Chair; Melissa Smith, Coordinator of Online Education and Staff Senate Chair; Larry Duffy, Executive Secretary of the WOSC Foundation, Inc.; Lora Lea Pickering, Director of Development and Alumni Relations; Jimmy Poe, Safety and Security Coordinator ; Katie Brewer, Assistant Director of Admissions and Registrar; Briar Jenkins, Secretary to the President and Judith Meyer, Director of Public Information.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Western Board of Regents will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m., in the Higher Learning Center at the college.

Complying with HLC criteria for accreditation

by Michael Bush


Reach Michael Bush at fbush@civitasmedia.com

Reach Michael Bush at fbush@civitasmedia.com

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