Guest opinion: SOU is unsustainable as a regional university
Mail Tribune November 18, 2012
Letter to the editor: SOU’s impact is widely felt
Mail Tribune November 18, 2012
Raiders football team wins first playoff game this season
Mail Tribune November 18, 2012
Raiders next football game is back in Iowa
Mail Tribune November 19, 2012
Men’s cross country team takes second at nationals, men’s basketball team wins
Mail Tribune November 18, 2012
Raider women’s basketball is on a roll, wrestlers do well at SOU Open
Mail Tribune November 19, 2012
Mr. Raider Football
Mail Tribune November 17, 2012
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SOU is unsustainable as a regional university
By By Timothy E. Dolan
November 18, 2012 2:00 AM
“It is difficult to make a man understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it.”
— Upton Sinclair
The chronic underfunding of SOU is structural in nature; a matter of being in an awkward tier between a community college and flagship university with a constituency insufficient to generate the political will to credibly assert its claim as Oregon’s public liberal arts university and properly support it as such. It would be unfair and wrong to blame its administration for its fiscal woes and conversely utter hubris for the administration to claim that it can blaze a path out of the wilderness it finds itself in.
Regional public institutions of higher learning are, by their nature, largely at the mercy of the fiscal climate and political landscapes where they are situated. This author’s experience at regional universities in Hawaii and Texas found similar problems. What compounds the challenges facing SOU over the past decade has been the aggressive expansion of Rogue Community College coupled with an ongoing and now acute squeeze on place-bound Southern Oregon households’ ability to afford sending their offspring out for an ever more expensive four-year degree. Clever and thrifty students can strategically take their general education course requirements at RCC. They can then transfer to SOU with these courses when they are ready to move into upper-division degree programs. If they are especially clever and talented they can then transfer after a year or so to a flagship university, taking the course credits earned at SOU with them. They can then receive a University of Oregon, Oregon State University or Portland State degree without undergoing the full expense of taking all of their coursework at those schools. This is why SOU’s retention rates, while recently touted as rising, still are significantly low by national norms (70 percent first-year student retention with a transfer-out rate of 23 percent and a four-year graduation rate of 13 percent according to the National Center for Educational Statistics). Compare this with the University of Oregon’s first-year student retention rate of 86 percent, transfer-out rate of 6 percent and four-year graduation rate of 44 percent. The result is that what most people might assume is a four-year university with a few professional graduate programs actually is more of a one- or two-year way station of sorts, or a place they can go to take courses on a part-time basis while working to pay the bills.
The problem is compounded by rampant grade inflation at RCC that floods SOU with underprepared students without the basic skills needed to perform at the undergraduate level. Plagiarism is up, and the need for remediation reflected in the amount of resources allocated to student support services (tutoring) is way up.
To make matters worse, we lie at the state’s political margins with a legislative delegation unwilling or unable to champion SOU in any credible way. We no longer have a Lenn Hannon to advocate effectively for SOU in Salem.
The bottom line is that U of O is just at the upper third of American public universities in student investment and SOU is right at the bottom third. (http://bit.ly/UzGPXS)
Among those inside there is recognition that SOU is now under stresses that have been at least two generations in the making. Because of this, faculty and staff adapt to the fact that yet another shoe will drop or ax fall in the next budget cycle. A kind of crisis fatigue is firmly set in with employees at all levels immersed in a kind of bunker mentality to hold onto whatever turf they can in the face of consolidation, downsizing or whatever the master plan du jour holds.
One should not ask this administration for guidance out of this mess for the same reason one should not ask locals for directions. Their cognitive maps are constructed around their experience. They will invariably tell you to turn left at the laundromat oblivious to the fact that it is behind a 7-Eleven that they never go to and thus literally don’t see. It is beyond them the same way the Phyrigians could not untie the Gordian Knot, leaving it to an outsider (Alexander the Great) to provide his radical solution. This also would be a good time to reread the quote at the top of this piece.
This is the diagnosis. To cut now to prescription would take another article to effectively describe.
There is a way and it will not be easy, but playing musical chairs with existing schools, programs and departments is not going to resolve the problem. Expanding residential student capacity is especially ill-advised, as they are the most expensive segment to educate. The last thing we want is for SOU alumni to echo a comment made at another regional university: “It’s a beautiful campus … . Too bad there isn’t a university there.”
Timothy E. Dolan of Ashland was associate professor of political science and director of the SOU Master in Management Program from its inception in 1998 to 2005. He was most recently professor of public policy and administration in the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo. He has written and presented research on higher education policy including at the Global Higher Education Forum in Penang Malaysia last December. He is an active member of the World Futures Studies Federation and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Futures Studies.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
November 18, 2012 2:00 AM
SOU’s impact is widely felt
SOU’s impact reaches out far and above the town of Ashland. There are people all over the world in the fields of science, business, the arts, academia, athletics and education who received their degrees here in our Rogue Valley.
Exciting things are happening at SOU, not only in Ashland, but here in Medford at their Higher Education Center. Concerts, lectures, plays, art shows, recitals and other venues are open to the public. There are youth programs from Academy for able fifth- to ninth-graders, to sports, Lego, science and ethnic camps.
As for athletics, SOU has nationally ranked men’s and women’s teams participating in everything from football to lacrosse. The games are exciting. The student-athletes and coaches are to be commended for their hard work and dedication to their sports and academics.
If you have ever attended SOU you are eligible to join the SOU Alumni Association. For less than the cost of one mocha a month you could be supporting the Alumni Association in providing scholarships for exceptional students and promoting the university, as well as receiving the benefit of special deals from local businesses. Details can be found at www.sou.edu/alumni/membership.
— Carol Moody, Medford
No. 10 Raiders rally, knock off No. 8 St. Ambrose
By By Doug Green
November 18, 2012 2:00 AM
DAVENPORT, Iowa — The St. Ambrose football team went into halftime with all the momentum on its side.
In the second half, though, the Fighting Bees found none.
10th-ranked Southern Oregon knocked eighth-ranked Ambrose out of the NAIA playoffs 45-28 at Brady Street Stadium on Saturday. The Raiders scored 28 points in the fourth quarter while shutting out Ambrose in the second half.
“I don’t think they did anything special compared to what they did in the first half,” Bees junior quarterback Eric Williamson said. “They may have sent more pressure. We couldn’t get our run game going, and we got pinned down in our own end a couple of times.”
The Raiders (9-2), who have won seven games in a row, will find out who their quarterfinal opponent will be, and where that game will be played, today when the NAIA announces the elite eight pairings.
The Bees (9-2) rolled into halftime, scoring 22 unanswered points in the second quarter while getting good play from all three phases. The defense forced three second-quarter turnovers. On offense, Williamson threw a 46-yard touchdown to Sam O’Donnell and ran for another while senior running back Anton Wilkins scored on a 17-yard run. Freshman Quinn Treiber hit a 21-yard field goal as time expired to send Ambrose into halftime up 28-17.
“We game planned for most of it, but we didn’t get to spend the time on it like you normally do,” Bees cornerback Jordan Bell said. “You just got to touch things and go on the fly. In the first half, we took care of it, but in the second half, they made some adjustments and we couldn’t pull it out in the end.”
That good play in the second quarter would be the highlight of the afternoon for the Bees.
In the second half, St. Ambrose managed only 140 total yards with 12 of those coming on the ground. Freshman receiver Zach Grant was held to four catches for 38 yards.
Southern Oregon, the No. 1 scoring team in the NAIA during the regular season, took the opening kickoff and cruised down the field for an early touchdown. The Bees defense stymied the Raiders’ attack in the middle two quarters, but SOU found life in the fourth as sophomore Austin Dodge tossed two touchdowns and Manny Barragan ran for another before Josh Leff returned a Williamson pass 39 yards for a touchdown to ice the game.
Barragan rushed for 192 yards and SOU finished with 547 total, well below its average but good enough thanks to Leff (two interceptions) and the rest of the Raider defense.
“They had forced us to make some mistakes,” Southern Oregon coach Craig Howard said. “We were on the verge of panic. They pushed us right to the edge at halftime. I think our coaches and our players did a good job of not panicking. I take my hat off to their coaching staff. They had them well prepared, and their pass rush was the best we seen all year.”
For the Bees, it was all about failing to capitalize.
“We had some chances there to make a statement at the start of the second half and put some pressure back on them,” Ambrose coach Mike Magistrelli said. “We missed some opportunities there in the second half.”
Dodge completed 28 of 51 passes for 307 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to Cole McKenzie on third-and-goal to give the Raiders the lead for good, 31-28, with 11:03 to go in the game. After the teams traded possessions, SOU’s Mike Olson returned a punt 37 yards to set up the Raiders at the St. Ambrose 34. Seven plays later, Barragan charged into the end zone on third-and-8 from the nine, extending SOU’s lead to 38-28.
No. 10 Southern Oregon 45,No. 8 St. Ambrose 28
At Brady Street Stadium
Southern Oregon 17 0 0 28 —45
St. Ambrose 6 22 0 0 —28
SOU — Olson 4 run (Amsler kick)
SAU — Wilkins 19 run (kick failed)
SOU — Olson 17 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
SOU — FG Amsler 20
SAU — Williamson 4 run (run failed)
SAU — O’Donnell 46 pass from Williamson (run failed)
SAU — Wilkins 17 run (Treiber kick)
SAU — FG Treiber 21
SOU — Donahue 32 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
SOU — McKenzie 5 pass from Dodge (Amsler kick)
SOU — Barragan 9 run (Amsler kick)
SOU — Leff 39 interception return (Amsler kick)
First Downs 31 23
Rushes-Yards 54-240 31-163
Passing Yards 307 309
Comp-Att-Int 28-51-1 26-43-2
Total Yards 547 472
Punts 3-24 7-37.6
Fumbles-lost 4-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 5-36 5-50
Southern Oregon — Barragan 30-192, Marshall 12-41, Dodge 3-7, Olson 7-3, team 2-(-3).
St. Ambrose — Kelly 22-143, Wilkins 2-36, Klingler 1-(-3), Williamson 6-(-13).
Southern Oregon — Dodge 28-51-1 307.
St. Ambrose — Williamson 26-42-2 309, Wilkins 0-1-0 0.
Southern Oregon — Donahue 6-83, Barragan 6-47, Olson 5-81, McKenzie 4-39, Marshall 3-21, Sierra 2-30, Kirkpatrick 1-5, Otaguro 1-1.
St. Ambrose — O’Donnell 9-157, Grant 4-38, Munro 3-43, Cappaert 3-30, Kelly 2-24, Overstreet 1-12, Friederich 1-7, Wilkins 1-(-1), Williamson 1-(-1).
Raiders to return to Iowa for quarterfinals
November 19, 2012 2:00 AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After knocking off No. 8 St. Ambrose 45-28 in Saturday’s NAIA Football Championship Series first round, the 10th-ranked Southern Oregon football team will return to Iowa this weekend for a quarterfinal match, traveling to Sioux City to face No. 3 Morningside.
Southern Oregon was one of only two road teams to win last weekend, and the Raiders will be looking to hand the Mustangs their first loss of the season on Saturday. Since 2000, home teams in the FCS quarterfinals are 35-12.
Morningside, 11-0 this season, will be appearing in the quarterfinals for the seventh time in the last nine years and will host for the first time since 2009. The Raiders, 9-2 after Saturday’s win, will be looking to make program history with a win in the quarterfinal round for the first time. Southern Oregon is 0-3 all-time in quarterfinal games, while Morningside is 1-5.
The Raiders will again charter a flight from Medford to Iowa, with the plane set to leave the Rogue Valley on Friday morning and fly direct to Sioux City. The team will return immediately following the game on Saturday. This week, however, the plane will have 80 extra seats available for fans and family to purchase and join the trip.
Seats will cost $500 each and will include transportation from the airport to the hotel and game in Sioux City, but will not include the hotel costs. Southern Oregon Athletics will reserve a block of rooms for fans at the team hotel for those traveling to purchase.
SOU takes second at cross country championships
November 18, 2012 2:00 AM
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Southern Oregon earned its third consecutive top-three national finish Saturday as the Raiders placed second at the 2012 NAIA men’s cross country championships at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
The Raiders, who entered the season ranked No. 1 in the NAIA poll, totaled 153 points to finish behind team champion St. Francis (138) by 15 points. California State San Marcos took third with 165 points in an extremely close championship race.
“I thought overall the team ran very well,” SOU head coach Grier Gatlin said. “We had a race plan and we executed it. There were just a few things that maybe didn’t go our way, and that’s the difference between first and second.”
Tyler VanDyke from Eagle Point High led the Raiders with a 19th-place finish (25 minutes, 6 seconds), followed closely by teammate Scott McIntyre in 22nd place (25:10) to give SOU a pair of All-American finishers. Eric Avila finished in 51st (25:40), followed immediately by Nathan Normo in 54th (25:41). Brett Hornig placed 63rd (25:47), Eric Ghelfi took 29th (25:57) and Jared Hixon finished 94th (26:04), as all seven Raider runners finished within one minute of each other.
“While we’re disappointed to not walk away with the title, taking a conference championship and finishing second at the national meet with two All-Americans is a huge accomplishment,” Gatlin said.
After claiming its fifth consecutive Cascade Collegiate Conference two weeks ago, Southern Oregon earned its second-best national finish in program history Saturday.
In the women’s race earlier in the morning, Anne Hagy represented the Southern Oregon women’s team with a 94th-place finish. Hagy ran the 5,000-meter race in 19:26 as the only Raider in the competition.
SOUTHERN OREGON 82, WILLIAM JESSUP 70 — At Klamath Falls, 23rd-ranked Southern Oregon continued its hot shooting and held off a late William Jessup run to defeat the Warriors at the Midland Empire Insurance Classic.
Southern Oregon improves to 4-2 with the win, while William Jessup falls to 1-5. The Raiders return to action Tuesday evening in a nonconference rivalry showdown, hosting No. 2 Oregon Tech at 7:30 p.m. at Bob Riehm Arena.
Southern Oregon shot 56 percent in the contest (28-for-50), including 60 percent in the second half (15-for-25). David Sturner connected on 8 of 13 shot attempts to lead SOU with 19 points, while Eric Thompson scored 15 points on only eight shot attempts. Terriel Thomas tallied 11 points with eight rebounds, and both Kyle Tedder and Dex Daum added 10 points for the Raiders.
SOU women rout Hope International
November 19, 2012 2:00 AM
ASHLAND — Southern Oregon opened the game on a 35-4 run and shot better than 60 percent as a team in a 99-58 nonconference women’s basketball victory over Hope International Sunday evening at Bob Riehm Arena.
Southern Oregon improved to 6-0 win the win, while Hope International fell to 4-1 with its first loss of the season. The Raiders return to action Friday afternoon at the 2012 Flagship Inn Classic, hosting Lewis-Clark State at 3:30 p.m.
Alexi Smith scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Raiders, while Carly Meister connected on eight of nine shot attempts to score 17 points. Allison Gida scored 14 points, Angelica Cahee added 11 points and Molly Doran finished with 10. Andrina Rendon tallied a double-double for Hope International, scoring 13 points with 15 rebounds, while Rina Towne scored 17 points and Brittany Bauman added 13 points.
The Raiders connected on 60.9 percent of their shots (42-of-69) while limiting the Royals to 22.2 percent shooting (18-of-81). Southern Oregon scored the first 10 points and stretched its lead to 31 points when a Meister layup made it 35-4 with 8:50 to play in the first half. From that point, the Raiders coasted to a 49-22 halftime advantage and a 99-58 final score.
SOU OPEN — At Ashland, the top-ranked Southern Oregon wrestling team hosted the annual SOU Open Saturday and Sunday, with three SOU wrestlers coming away with individual championships.
Top-ranked Mitchell Lofstedt dominated the 125-pound bracket for the Raiders, winning all three of his matches by fall in a total of less than four minutes.
Jimmy Eggemeyer, ranked No. 1 in the 149-pound class but wrestling in the 157 bracket, won all three of his matches to claim the title for the Raiders. He picked up a pair of injury default victories and a 5-1 decision victory en route to the 157-pound championship.
Eighth-ranked Taylor Johnson, wrestling unattached, won the 197-pound bracket. He earned a first-round bye and earned a pin en route to the final match, where he won the title.
The Raiders are 1-0 in duals this season, defeating No. 8 Great Falls 23-17 on Friday at Bob Riehm Arena. Southern Oregon will have a break from competition for the next week, returning to action with a home dual against No. 15 Menlo on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.
Mr. Raider Football
Stan Smith was on the last undefeated team in 1946 and remains an integral part at SOU
By Tim Trower
November 17, 2012 2:00 AM
Stan Smith did what he typically does on autumn afternoons when Southern Oregon University has home football games. He sat in the stands on the home side and watched his beloved Raiders.
Halftime was about to run its course last Saturday when the SOU players returned to the field.
The next thing Smith knew, a player, one he’d befriended the past couple years, veered from formation, headed across the track, up the steps and into the stands. Linebacker Daniel Breaux got to Smith, the 88-year-old patriarch of Raider football, and knelt to give him a hug and say a few words.
Smith, a World War II veteran and one of two remaining starters from the Raiders’ last undefeated team in 1946, isn’t one to mince words.
“They had dedicated the game or something to me,” he said Friday in his Medford living room. “S—-, I couldn’t even hear it. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. The damn kid comes running up the steps and the second half is about to kick off.”
Told of Smith’s reaction over the phone as the team holed up Friday in a Davenport, Iowa, hotel awaiting today’s NAIA playoff game against St. Ambrose, Breaux, a decorated linebacker, howled in laughter.
It was Stan being Stan, said the sophomore from Greenfield, Calif.
After his playing days, Smith coached at high schools from Cave Junction to Baker City, but for years he made his mark as a Rogue Valley restaurant owner and cook. He started the Raider Golf Tournament in 1990, and it’s become the university’s biggest fundraising event. He was on the Raider board of directors for years, served on coaching search committees, purchased equipment for the football team and generally, in step with his late wife, Tommie, has given of himself whenever possible.
So when SOU coach Craig Howard learned before last week’s game against Montana Tech that Smith will have surgery next month to remove an aneurysm, it weighed heavily on him.
Howard often calls Smith “Mr. Raider Football.”
Smith coached Gary Mires at Baker City, and Mires was Howard’s high school coach at Grants Pass. The three remain deeply connected.
“He is the most loyal alumni I’ve ever seen,” said Howard.
The coach was emotional when he informed the Raider players of Smith’s condition before the game and dedicated the contest to him. Breaux’s gesture was strictly his own, catching even Howard by surprise.
“I just told him thank you and we’re doing this for him,” said Breaux. “Stan is a big part of where our team is and all the success we’ve had. He’s one of ours. He’s a Raider and he bleeds Raider red.”
To what end? His doctor wanted to do the procedure sooner, but Smith — aware of the risks — asked that it be moved back until after football season.
He doesn’t want to miss a moment of SOU’s exhilarating ride.
The Raiders are ranked 10th in the country and have won six straight games on the strength of a dizzying offense.
It’s a far cry from Smith’s days in the game. His coaching playbook would look “pretty conservative” next to the Raiders’, he said.
Smith recalled a Baker High team reunion and a conversation with a former running back.
“He said, ‘Well damn it, coach, we only had six plays,’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s not true. We had 12 … six right and six left.’”
It wasn’t much different when Smith played.
At Medford High, his coach was Bill Bowerman, who would later gain fame as the University of Oregon track coach.
Smith recalled running sprints his junior year in front of Bowerman. The coach was impressed by his speed and agility for a big man — in college he played at 6-foot-11/2, 225 pounds — and suggested he might try out at fullback his senior year.
That year never came.
Smith went to war in August 1942, joining the Navy. His ship mostly convoyed from the Panama Canal throughout the Atlantic.
Upon his return, he joined a number of other war veterans at what was then Southern Oregon College of Education. The school was on the verge of closing because of low enrollment, but when the war ended, the number of students rose from 42 to more than 500.
A by-product was the resurrection of the football team. It had been suspended in 1939 after back-to-back winless seasons, then was shut down a year later when the war siphoned its male enrollment.
Football wouldn’t return until the soldiers did, and that was in 1946. The team was about 30 strong, said Smith, and “we were like brothers, you know?”
Most of them lived in veteran housing, and they quickly regained their football acumen.
Al Simpson was the coach. He took over the Medford High team when Bowerman enlisted, winning state in 1944. When Bowerman returned, Simpson was out of a job and SOCE needed a coach.
He ran a 6-2 defense — “Hell, it was real simple,” said Smith — and the T-formation offense, as opposed to the single wing favored by most teams.
Smith was a tackle on both sides of the ball. At the time, if you played one position on offense, there was a correlating position on defense, he said. Quarterbacks also played safety, fullbacks and centers were the linebackers, halfbacks were the defense backs.
“It was automatic,” said Smith. “Apparently you had some skill that had a connection with offense and defense.”
The Red Raiders, as they were dubbed then, went 8-0, coming from behind four times and claiming the inaugural Pear Bowl. Two of the victories were over the Oregon and Oregon State junior varsity teams, which included seniors and some players who saw varsity action, said Smith.
SOCE won its first seven games the next year for a 15-game winning streak but finished 1947 with a 7-2 mark.
During Smith’s career, from 1946-49, SOCE was 25-9-1 and captured three Far West Conference titles.
The success was unexpected by some.
Smith told of Simpson walking down an Ashland street before the season started when a man approached. He told the coach he’d seen a couple players drinking beer at the Elks Club, adding, “I don’t think you’ve got a chance with those guys.”
“Well, I know fella, but it’s really difficult to tell a bunch of guys who spent two or three years in a foxhole they can’t drink a beer.”
“I thought that was classic,” said Smith. “Every day was like liberty.”
It’s a different time, of course, but one thing is constant: Smith’s affection for Raider football.
He’s weathered bad seasons. This is only the second winning campaign since 2003.
“I’ve had quite an interest in the program and many times I’ve been disappointed,” he said. “Not disgruntled, really, just wishing they could do better, you know, something to be proud of. It is very satisfying and fun for me to enjoy the success they’re having.”
How long it will last is anyone’s guess.
Based on recent conversations with Howard, Smith said the Frontier Conference title the Raiders claimed in their first year in the league doesn’t seem to be enough.
“He’s not satisfied,” said Smith. “He wants to win the national championship.”
Regardless of how it ends, there’s no doubt a big piece of this season belongs to “Mr. Raider Football.”