Q&A - October 27, 2017

With the fall 2017 semester in full swing at OSUIT in Okmulgee, activity is happening everywhere. College students are coming and going throughout campus. They’re in classrooms and labs; gathering in dining halls and study areas. They’re traversing hallways and between buildings. Parking lots and residential halls are full. Program advisors and employers are meeting on campus and conducting business. Busloads of high school students are visiting campus to attend special events. Tour carts are loaded with prospective students and their family members. Ongoing building and grounds maintenance can be seen all over campus. Everywhere you look are the signs of endeavor and activity. This week, I think it’s very appropriate to address a couple of questions about current activity on campus.

Q: What kind of work is happening on the Noble Center?

The Noble Center for Advancing Technology is a three-story classroom building on the OSUIT campus. It was originally constructed in 1984 with a major addition made in 1995. Over time, much settling and cracking has occurred on the west wall of the building. Numerous repairs have been made to the brick façade, but it is now time to replace much of the west-facing wall. An anticipated two-month construction project began on October 16. The scope of work will correct several masonry issues as well as failing windows and stairs on the west side of the building. The exterior stairs are being completely replaced. The one long window is being swapped out with three smaller windows and the upper two-stories of brick are being replaced with lighter-weight steel siding. The improvements will give the building a sleek new look and should permanently resolve each of the issues we were having with this exterior wall. During the construction, access through the west center portion of the building will be blocked, but access will be maintained via the handicap ramp on the southwest corner of the building.

In addition to the new west wall, the Noble Center has also recently received three new Lochinvar modular boilers in the mechanical room. It’s good to have these modern systems in place before the winter season because they will help regulate building temperatures evenly and economically. 

Q: How are enrollments doing at OSUIT?

I’m happy to announce that OSUIT posted a 4.4 percent enrollment increase this fall trimester over last year’s enrollment. The 2,500 enrollment for fall 2017 was an increase both in new students and in returning students, and I credit the dedicated faculty and staff of OSUIT for this increase. Not only did they do a fantastic job of recruiting new students, they also made a concerted effort to remain in contact with our current students to learn about their academic challenges and to keep them informed about institutional resources and services designed for student success. These early intervention efforts by faculty and staff helped many of our students remain engaged with their studies and ultimately provided them the support they needed to continue their education. 

Thank you for your wonderful inquires about OSUIT this week. Please continue to send me your questions and comments at osuit-president@okstate.edu.