Rogers State President Discusses Campus Progress

CAMPUS HISTORY: With Dr. Joe Wiley at the Tulsa Press Club is Alex Adwon, left, editor emeritus of the Tulsa World. Adwon attended the Oklahoma Military Academy, the forerunner of Rogers State, The drawing is of the new Student Center, presently under construction.

GTR Newspapers photo

Dr. Joe Wiley, president of Rogers State University, was the guest speaker at a Tulsa Press Club Page One luncheon recently, and he had much to say about his impressive four-year college with its main campus in Claremore.

Wiley discussed the rapid growth of RSU and its new academic programs and the history of the institution.

Since RSU made the transition from a community college to a four-year regional university in 2000, enrollment has increased by almost 70 percent, an achievement that places RSU among the fastest-growing colleges and universities in Oklahoma history. This fall, RSU was one of the few universities in the state to experience an enrollment increase.

The RSU main campus in Claremore continues to expand as a traditional residential university campus, offering several new bachelor’s degrees, including game development, nursing, and visual arts. A new four-year degree in sports management is anticipated next year, pending final regents approval.

This fall, the university broke ground on its new Student Services Center, a 50,000-square-foot facility that will become the centerpiece of the main campus.

The second major academic facility will be announced next year, partially funded by the recent state capital bond project.

RSU also recently acquired an historic, nine-story building to serve as its new campus in downtown Bartlesville leading to major enrollment growth and the redevelopment of the downtown area.

In addition, the university recently adopted a new mascot, the “Hillcat,” and introduced its first athletic programs including baseball and softball, with men’s and women’s basketball beginning next season. The university was recently accepted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Conference.

Wiley became President of Rogers State University on Jan. 1, 1999. As a result of his leadership during the transition of RSU from a two-year to a four-year institution, he was awarded the prestigious John L. Blackburn Award for Exemplary Administrative Leadership from the American Associations of University Administrators (AAUA). The award is most the prestigious award given by the AAUA, the nation’s largest and most respected organization of university administrators and is the single highest honor given to a university administrator in the nation.

Previously, Dr Wiley served as executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs at Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SEOSU) in Durant, Oklahoma. He earned a doctoral degree in mathematics from the University of Arkansas, completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado and received a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He traveled to China on three occasions to serve as a technical consultant to the State Commission on Science and Technology.

He is a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Council of Presidents and served as chairman of the Council of Presidents this year.

The Student Services Center

Rogers State University has begun construction on its new Student Services Center, a two-level, 50,000-square-foot facility that will combine student development programs under one roof, serve as a central location for students to study and socialize and provide a focal point for the RSU campus in Claremore. The new facility also will offer expanded ballrooms, conference centers and meeting rooms for the community.

The building will be distinguished by an open, pedestrian-friendly design plan, exterior colonnades and terraces and a combination of traditional and contemporary architecture.

The Student Services Center will replace Thunderbird and Post Halls, which were determined to be too costly and structurally insufficient for renovation by a team of architects and engineers. The buildings will be demolished in August. Thunderbird Hall was the former location of the university’s library and Post Hall presently contains a small and outdated banquet room. The new facility will be situated on the present site of the two buildings and will include an expanded parking lot.

The new building was designed by ADG Architectural Design Group and construction will be managed by Trigon Contractors, both of Tulsa.

The exterior will feature red brick similar to that used on many other campus buildings and extensive use of glass, allowing for a maximum amount of natural light. A colonnade and terrace on the west side of the building will face the interior campus mall, looking toward Will Rogers Auditorium and Stratton Taylor Library. The west terrace will contain a fire pit and provide space for outdoor student events.

A multi-level colonnade and terrace on the east side of the building will retain the popular view overlooking Douglas Lake and the city of Claremore. The east terrace will feature steps leading down the hill to a smaller terrace suitable for weddings or small events.

The ground level of the building, which will contain approximately 36,000 square feet, will feature an indoor promenade and a central rotunda with an information desk. An open-air food court and large student lounge and seating area will be located on the promenade near the rotunda. The first floor also will feature a student recreation area, which will contain space for student activities. The RSU Bookstore will be located on the building’s west side. Student computer laboratories, a campus convenience store, faculty lounge, kitchen and food staging areas also will be located on the first level.

The east end of the first level will be dominated by a ballroom overlooking the lake. The ballroom, at more than 7,000 square feet, will feature 15-foot ceilings and the capability to be partitioned into three smaller ballrooms of varying size.
Loading docks will be located on the south side of the building to provide convenient access to University Drive and Camden Road.

The facility is expected to be completed in the fall of 2007. Events will not be held in Post Hall after July 31. For more information about scheduling events in Post Hall, call Chuck Lucia at (918) 343-7843.

Updated 12-29-2006

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