SOU in the News – Nov. 8 – 9

SOU enrollment drops while Oregon’s eight-university system expands overall
Mail Tribune November 9, 2012
Profile of Associate Professor Jackie Apodaca
Daily Tidings November 8, 2012
The Cecelia String Quartet performs tonight in SOU’s Music Recital Hall
Daily Tidings November 8, 2012
Enrollment growth slows at Oregon universities
Associated Press November 8, 2012
SOU archaeologists Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose to speak next Wednesday in Coos Bay
Coos Bay World November 9, 2012
Record enrollment at SOU
KDRV Newswatch 12 November 8, 2012
SOU sees second-largest enrollment in its history
KTVL 10 November 8, 2012
Deep thoughts at Southern Oregon University
Mail Tribune November 9, 2012
Letter to the sports editor: Eagle Point HS band and SOU football
Mail Tribune November 9, 2012
Full version of print clips
SOU enrollment drops while Oregon’s eight-university system expands overall
Officials can’t point to any one reason why enrollment might have fallen
By Sam Wheeler
Ashland Daily Tidings
November 09, 2012 2:00 AM
The number of students at Southern Oregon University this fall dropped from the previous year’s headcount for the first time since 2005, according to figures released by the Oregon University System Thursday.
The university didn’t attract as many Hispanic students, community college transfers or incoming freshman compared with the past few years, but enjoyed another increase of new Californian students, said James Klein, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
The university has 6,481 students enrolled compared with last fall’s 6,744, Klein said.
The 3.9 percent drop-off was the largest of any school in the Oregon University System, which saw a 1,077-student increase overall across its eight universities, which total 101,393 enrolled students.
SOU’s full-time equivalent numbers, a standard measure based on credits earned that accounts for full- and part-time students, fell 2.2 percent, to 4,573 this fall from 4,678 a year ago.
Hispanic student enrollment, which skyrocketed 82 percent in the last two year, fell by less than 1 percent compared with this time last year, and transfer students from community colleges and other universities dropped 19.2 percent compared with last fall’s student population, Klein said.
“Hopefully it’s because people are getting back into the job market,” he said of the drop in transfer students.
Klein said, it’s unclear why Hispanic student enrollment didn’t match increases SOU experienced at the beginning of the past two academic years.
The university can only speculate why fall enrollment didn’t increase for the seventh consecutive year, Klein said, but he didn’t attribute the decline to this year’s 9.9 percent tuition hike.
SOU students are paying $102, or 4.2 percent, more per term this year for 15 credits, accounting for reductions in student fees.
Klein said a recent change to eligibility for the Pell Grant also may have contributed to the decline in enrollment. Last fall, students were eligible to receive the Pell Grant for 18 semesters, that has been shortened to 12 semesters in an effort by Congress to save money.
The university enrolled 10.3 percent fewer incoming freshman, and 13.8 percent fewer graduate students compared to the previous fall term, but saw a 4.4 increase in students from California. Last fall, California-student enrollment was up 15 percent.
California students make up about 15 percent of the student population at SOU, Klein said, which is a record.
The university’s student population has swelled 40 percent over the past four years, enrollment reports show.
“That’s really unprecedented growth. “… It’s kind of nice to catch a breath,” Klein said. “It’s been really challenging to staff up, and find faculty, and get all of the support services that have to grow.”
During fall term 2010, SOU saw a 26.2 percent enrollment increase over the prior year’s fall term.
Compared with this time last year, Portland State University reported 227 fewer students, Eastern Oregon University reported 90 fewer students and Western Oregon University reported 30 fewer students.
All other OUS institutions reported slight gains in student population.
Oregon State University saw the largest jump, reporting 1,416 more students. The University of Oregon gained the second most students, with a 144-student increase.
“Overall, we’re happy with where our enrollment is at,” Klein said.
Reach Daily Tidings reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email
Jackie Apodaca
By Evalyn Hansen
For the Tidings
November 08, 2012 2:00 AM
Actor, director and associate professor Jackie Apodaca directed Jose Rivera’s “Marisol,” which is playing this week at Southern Oregon University’s Center Stage Theatre. The production’s sensational staging, ensemble acting and stage movement blend bizarre and beautiful elements to create a compelling theatrical experience. Jackie and I met over breakfast at Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland.
EH: What is unique about the theater experience?
JA: It is the live experience of it. Everyone is experiencing the exact same moment and will have the shared experience. There is something exciting about that fleeting and momentary experience. And you experience it as the actor, as the director, as the stage manager, as the run-crew, and as the audience. The experience is so close and intimate between the audience and the performers in that way.
Whereas in film, everyone experienced something, and then someone took it away, changed everything about it, and brought it back and showed you what it was. Film seems more intimate in that you see the actor’s face close up, but it has gone through so many processes before you got to see it. Did you really get to see what they did? Probably not.
I worked with filmmakers when I taught in the Film and Media Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I loved that, but film is completely the medium of the director and the editor. We would change the actor’s performance in the editing room. And we would talk about how we could make them seem to be doing different things. There is so much that can be controlled outside of the actor and outside of the moment. In post-production, the moment is gone and completely changed.
EH: What does a theater arts education give young actors?
JA: I teach a business of acting class at SOU so that they have some preparation for what’s coming. The reality of how much you are at the whim of other people, to do the thing that you consider your art, is really shocking. It can be a hard situation.
In theater training, in acting training, you learn to work in ensemble, with a group of people. Working in a group is complicated and difficult; and you learn to do it to a degree that most people don’t get an opportunity to prepare for, in any kind of a way.
You learn an incredible work ethic in theater. You learn basic human requirements for being a good worker. You also are working towards a common goal with a group of people, making this goal paramount, and getting it done. You learn to work towards a specific goal rapidly and with complete focus.
It’s true that most of them won’t go on to be professional actors. What we are giving them will make them successful doctors and lawyers, whatever they decide to do, more than pre-professional disciplines. If you pretrain for something, and you are only training to get into the profession, and you have not looked outside of it, it can be very limiting.
People are attracted to acting because they are interested in humanity; and they’re usually quite empathetic people. A lot of them go on and become social workers or psychologists because they care about people. In theater arts, we’re looking at the human condition and learning hard work and group dynamic skills that can take you far in whatever profession you decide to apply yourself to. To allow that kind of exploration is fantastic.
“Marisol”, by Jose Rivera, plays at 8 p.m. today through Saturday, November 8-10, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov 10-11, in the Center Square Theatre at Southern Oregon University. For tickets and information, call 541-552-6348.
Evalyn Hansen is a writer and director living in Ashland. She trained as an actor at the American Conservatory Theatre and is a founding member of San Francisco’s Magic Theatre. Reach her at

Cecilia String Quartet
November 08, 2012 2:00 AM
Based in Toronto, the quartet is winner of the 2010 Banff International String Quartet Competition and takes its name from the patron saint of music. The group will present works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Antonin Dvorak and Dmitri Shostakovich at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd. Tickets cost $30 and $35, $5 for students and Oregon Trail Card holders, and are available or by calling 541-552-6154.
Deep Thoughts
At Southern Oregon, the deep ball’s the thing
By Dan Jones
Mail Tribune
November 09, 2012 2:00 AM
ASHLAND — A plane was leaving its contrails high above the practice field at Southern Oregon University just as head football coach Craig Howard was explaining one of his favorite things — the deep ball.
The smile that was already on Howard’s face began to widen as the aircraft whizzed by. He had found his simile.
“The threat is the shot,” he says, his twinkling eyes looking skyward. “A vertical shot downfield where the ball goes up like that jet right there and drops down 40 yards down the field.”
Nearby, one of Howard’s favorite people — SOU sophomore quarterback Austin Dodge — cranked out darts to open receivers during a passing drill.
Together, Dodge and Howard have helped pilot the 12th-ranked Raiders to a season brimming with video-game statistics, shattered records and momentous wins.
The Raiders’ weapon of choice has been the deep ball, which Dodge wields early and often.
When the smoke clears most Saturdays, SOU has left its own contrails in the sky.
Few can find comparisons for what the Raiders (7-2) do on offense. They aren’t like the Oregon Ducks, who rely heavily on a rushing attack, and they aren’t the same as quick passing teams seen at Texas Tech, West Virginia or Houston. SOU is Nick Saban’s worst nightmare, a frantic menace to the society of traditionalists, a no-huddle up-tempo raid that begins in the air with brash passes unleashed relentlessly and with remarkable success. With the defense on its toes, SOU will blend some running and short pass plays into the boiling stew before dropping another rock deep inside it. Will there be a trick play? Yep, Howard guarantees it. Will it return next week, next month, or get buried for a year? Howard’s not telling.
Defenses are left to guess.
The Raiders average around 94 plays a contest while most college squads execute around 65, offensive coordinator Ken Fasnacht says. Once this year, they had 110.
“We get another quarter’s worth of offensive output,” Fasnacht says.
The Red Bull system leaves opponents flustered.
“There have been a couple teams and a couple defensive backs actually where we’ll make catches and they just can’t believe it,” receiver Cole McKenzie says. “I heard a defensive lineman a couple weeks ago say, ‘Not this again.'”
SOU’s numbers are disorienting.
The 6-foot-2 Dodge, in his second season with the Raiders, leads the nation in passing yardage (3,839 total, 426.6 per game) and total offense (3,933 total, 437 per game). He has 862 more passing yards than the NAIA’s second-best arm. The 2010 Skyview High graduate has already set new program records for season passing, completions (266), attempts (402), touchdowns (31) and total offense.
The snapshots of his success are astounding. He registered 42 completions against Montana Tech last month and 550 passing yards against Eastern Oregon last week. Against Carroll earlier this year, Dodge recorded 10 passes that went for 22 or more yards — 62, 48, 47, 46, 44, 43, 37, 30, 23, 22.
SOU, which has broken more than 10 team and individual game and season program records, has tallied 498 total points this season, 24 more than the 2001 team’s previous program record. The Raiders’ 5,873 offensive yards broke the old team record by more than 1,300 yards.
“We are gonna stretch the field 100 yards in length and 53 yards and a-third in width, and we’re gonna try to use every bit of it through the passing game first, and then have the running game come in second,” Fasnacht says. “And when it’s all said and done we’ll actually be balanced.”
Howard has dreamed up wild football notions and Dodge has put them into action. The two need each other, like a pilot and co-pilot. Dodge is a quietly confident athlete who transferred from NCAA Division II Central Washington University. Howard is a flamboyant coaching veteran of 38 years. The eccentric style that results from their synergy is electric, and it’s put a buzz back into a program that just two years ago finished the season 3-7.
The Raiders have not ventured into the postseason since 2002 and were picked to finish fifth in the coaches preseason poll. Things changed though. In a hurry.
SOU hosts No. 7 Montana Tech (8-1) on Saturday with a chance to clinch a share of the Frontier Conference championship with a win.
Howard and Dodge both moved to Ashland prior to last season. Dodge says he never felt entirely comfortable at Central Washington. Howard, a Grants Pass native, came from Florida, where he coached Tim Tebow.
“Central was great, but at the end of the year it wasn’t the place for me,” says Dodge, who first caught wind of SOU after talking with a former high school teammate who was going to be a freshman here.
Dodge called Howard.
“It was the second kind of phone call I’ve got like that in my career,” Howard recalls. “When I took the Nease (High) job (in Florida), a young fellow named Tim Tebow called. And so building the program goes hand in hand with finding the gunslinger. So Tebow came to me and won the state title. Dodge came here and all of a sudden we are leading the nation in scoring, we are leading the nation in total offense and we’re playing for a conference title on Saturday.”
The team went 5-5 in 2011. When preseason camp began, eight quarterbacks were competing for the Raiders’ starting job, with Dodge No. 8 on the list. But after an 0-3 start, Howard called upon Dodge, who hasn’t missed a start since.
“When I took this job, I knew we wanted to be exciting, we wanted to be wide open, and we needed a gunslinger to do it,” Howard says.
He’s got one now.
The Offense
Taking a note from the popular comedy film Talladega Nights, Howard refers to his system as the “Ricky Bobby” offense.
“We are going to try to play the game as fast as humanly possible,” Fasnacht says. “We have the need for speed.”
With proven power and accuracy, Dodge has been given the keys to the car at SOU. Each possession, he makes split-second decisions after the play is signaled in, based on how many defenders are stacked in the box. Poise amid the storm is essential.
“He is the master of that,” Howard says. “He is really calm, cool and collected.”
The dagger in Dodge’s arsenal is the deep shot, which Howard defines simply as a pass that gains a good bit of yardage. Howard says Dodge took 18 against Carroll and completed 16. The momentum that the heaves create, Howard adds, can not be underestimated.
“The momentum they create is uncanny,” Howard says. “I’ve done research and some schools attempt that many deep passes in an entire season.”
For SOU, it’s a typical day on the job.
“We’ll take shots on second and short just to keep them on their toes,” McKenzie says.
Potential recruits and coaches have taken notice. Howard says he receives 30 to 50 emails a day from athletes around the country interested in playing for him. He speaks with Division I coaches often. At Florida, he got to know Urban Meyer, who was recruiting Tebow. He shared ideas with Rich Rodriguez when Rodriguez was at Tulane. Here, he’s bouncing ideas around with UO head coach Chip Kelly.
“We actually run more plays than Oregon,” adds Howard, who also coached at Oregon Tech. “We’re sort of creating our own little Oregon here.”
Credit Spread Around
On Tuesdays, Dodge participates in a pass-under-pressure, or PUP, drill. The offensive line has kept him upright all season long, allowing just one sack. Dodge has plenty of time and space to find his top receivers, McKenzie and Patrick Donahue. Both excel at hauling in deep throws in a hurry.
McKenzie has 1,215 receiving yards, the most in SOU history. His 14 TDs are two more than the previous record. Donahue has a school-record 78 receptions, with McKenzie’s 68 close behind.
“Everyone wants to be a play-maker in this offense,” Dodge says.
The system, the quarterback, the linemen and the receivers make for the perfect storm.
“It’s easy to say you want to take shots, but it’s easy to drop back and get sacked and throw to the wrong guy or an incomplete pass,” Howard says. “That really doesn’t do you any good. You are punting after three plays. We have the guys to do it.”
The players love the idea of going deep, Dodge says. The trick is getting used to it. Donahue transferred before last season from Glendale Community College and didn’t grasp the offense until the ninth week.
“When I got here I was dog tired,” says Patrick, a senior from Los Angeles. “The offense was mind boggling. I was all over the place.”
Adds Howard: “It’s no different than a biology or science class.”
To catch up, Donahue, McKenzie and many of their teammates improved their stamina during the offseason. Donahue returned home only for the Fourth of July during the summer.
“I can go fast, but it’s not how fast you can go one play,” Donahue says. “It’s how fast you can go on multiple plays.”
Now, he’s like Dodge: a player who can adjust on the fly.
“There is never just one route you run,” Patrick says. “When a backer does this, you do this. If a corner does that, you do the opposite. I feel like the offense is one now.”
The receivers’ comfort level is evident.
“That is the bonus of this season,” says McKenzie, a senior from Red Bluff, Calif. “We all know the playbook and know what to expect and where to go for certain routes.”
Dodge continues to do his part to get better, too.
“Not all players go to that level where they get up at 6 or 7 or 8 o’clock on Sundays, come in and break film down before he goes to church,” Howard says of Dodge.
Howard and Fasnacht worked together in Florida, where they guided Nease to a 76-23 overall record and broke 30 school records. They won a state title with Tebow in 2005.
“But (Dodge) is the best quarterback I’ve ever been around as far as talent level and being a student of the game,” Fasnacht says.
Off the field, Dodge is easy-going and grounded, teammates say. He’s funny — well, “he’s funny sometimes,” Donahue says. “He’s not as funny as he thinks, but he’s a cool guy.”
Dodge recently visited a local pizza parlor with his parents. Upon entering, he observed members of the 1962 Raider squad that was inducted into the SOU Hall of Fame last month. The former players whom Dodge chatted with came away impressed with his attitude, SOU alumni director Mike Beagle says.
“He’s kind of old-fashioned,” Beagle says. “A great kid.”
The encounter made Dodge think about his own future, which seems to be moving as fast as a jet streaking across the sky.
“It was crazy knowing that 40 years from now I’ll be doing the same thing,” he says. “This is going to be a special year and I feel like we are gonna be the team that comes back in 40 years and celebrates our reunion and gets in the Hall of Fame.”
Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email
WHO: Southern Oregon University sophomore quarterback.

  • WHAT: Dodge and the Raiders are demolishing records this year in head coach Craig Howard’s up-tempo offense.
  • UP NEXT: Saturday, Montana Tech at Southern Oregon, 1:05 p.m.

November 07, 2012 2:00 AM
Eagle Point High School band and SOU football
This year the Eagle Point High School pep band has played for Southern Oregon University football. Truly an amazing group of outstanding young people who are proud of their school and their band. We, the SOU fans, are proud of them, too, and thank them so much for supporting our team.
SOU, having joined the NAIA Frontier Conference this year, was picked to finish last but with a win over No. 7 Montana Tech this Saturday at Raider Stadium at 1 p.m., the No. 12 (in the nation) Raiders would earn a share of the Frontier Conference championship. Quite an honor for a very young team with our second-year coach, Craig Howard. This combination has truly brought great excitement to SOU fans.
If you like fast-paced, no-huddle, U of O-style football, come to the game this weekend. This team has four 60-plus-point games. Our quarterback is NAIA national player of the week; leads the NAIA in passing yards per game and total passing, amongst other titles. Our receivers are awesome; in fact, the whole team is. Come join us, the 3,000-plus fans and the EP pep band, to cheer the Raiders on to victory. Go Red Raiders!
— Dana Smith Tuley, Medford

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