Editor In Chief
Dr. Terry Britton gave his last convocation speech as President of Rose State College on Jan. 18.
The speech kicked off the second day of the convocation program organized for faculty that included a motivational speaker and workshops.
Dr. Britton addressed many topics in his nearly hour long speech. The first topic was to recognize long standing employees of the college, and those who had left the college. Prof. Gwendolyn Loftis has taught at Rose State for nearly 42 years, being sworn in with Dr. Britton by the first president, Dr. Jacob Johnson. It was announced that Lisa Price, the director of special events, would retire Feb. 8 after 35 years. A moment of silence followed for Prof. Fredric Bassett, a professor of Anatomy and Physiology for over 40 years, who passed away before the start of term.
The largest announcement was the proposed $22 million bond election, scheduled for March 5. The bond will pay for critical upgrades to the Learning Resource Center, Aquatics Center and the fiber optic system, among other items.
Britton cited the outsourcing of resources from Tinker Air Force Base as a major motivator behind the updates. Rose State provides services to the community such as access to the Aquatics and Wellness Center and the use of the Learning Resource Center. A courtesy card is provided to all servicemen stationed at the base, and with half the TAFB base library staff and hours being cut, Britton emphasized these services may prove increasingly vital to the airmen stationed there.
The other large issue addressed by Britton was the guidelines by which funding is allotted from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. These updated guidelines include a more comprehensive list, rather than simply looking at a college completion rate of first time full-time students, which Rose State runs about 10%. The movement “Finish What You Start” has been in place on campus to improve completion rates, but many students still transfer to four-year universities before completing their Associate’s degree.
Britton believes where RSC may benefit from these guidelines the most is in its teaching and learning resources provided on campus. RSC offers many software and computer classes to teach the basics of technology both to the community and to the faculty and staff as the online learning community evolves.
Last year 880 students graduated from Rose State College. Dr. Britton encouraged faculty and staff to shoot for 1,000 and “make the new president proud of you.” He also emphasized the importance of community colleges and how they are the second and, in many cases, the last chance for many students.