State of the University covers all bases

By Heather Halvorsen

Dozens of students and faculty members gathered last Wednesday to hear Southern Oregon University President Dr. Mary Cullinan give the annual “State of the University” speech.

“I know we have too much work and not enough money,” said Cullinan.

Cullinan said that because the university is committed to remaining a public entity, and not becoming a private school, that funds are destined to be tight.

“Being a state university in Oregon, we won’t ever be rich,” Cullinan said.

Cullinan told two stories about exemplary students. Student Rob Chikar was accepted into the stage management program at Yale for his graduate studies, and Trixie Avella was a “gold winner” in the National League of Performing Arts’ National Young Musicians Showcase.

“We are doing amazing things and have taken charge of our future,” Cullinan said.

Cullinan also spoke about enrollment numbers saying, “this year has been a banner year for enrollment.” The preview day totals for this year have far surpassed numbers in previous years. International recruitment has also been a success with a 36 percent increase in the number of international students from Fall 2009 to Spring 2011.

Two new minors have been created and approved, film techniques in theatre and conflict resolution in communication. In addition to two new bachelor minors, teaching french has been newly added to the MA list.

Next year’s campus theme will focus on the theme of civility, now that we have considered this year’s theme about what it means to be human.

Other changes to SOU include the renovation of Churchill hall, which will begin in September.

An initiative to make SOU a more healthy campus is in progress as is a plan to make SOU a smoke-free, tobacco-free campus.

The transition from Groupwise to Gmail will also take place on Monday April 25, hopefully making communication easier. The SOU website as a whole is also being redesigned.


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