SOU To Test New Mass Notification System

Southern Oregon University will test a new public address safety system on Tuesday, December 17, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and lasting most of the day. The drill will include loud speaker announcements that will be heard across campus and possibly in neighborhoods surrounding SOU.
“This system will allow University officials to alert the entire campus to emergencies, saving valuable time in the event of life threatening situations,” says Tom Bieber, SOU manager of environmental, health, safety and risk management.
The system includes five stations located in the new North Campus Village, Churchill Hall and Taylor Hall, plus several outdoor speakers. The emergency notification system was added to the buildings during recent construction and remodeling.

SOU President formalizes need for “retrenchment” to meet fiscal and student needs

Ashland, OR – December 5, 2013: Southern Oregon University president Mary Cullinan made the formal announcement today that the university needs to make academic program reductions to ensure its long-term fiscal strength and student affordability. Termed “retrenchment,” the formal move enables the faculty contract to be opened so that a process of eliminating and reducing programs can begin.

The retrenchment announcement came this morning during a University forum at which Dr. Cullinan as well as faculty senate president Dave Carter and student body president Tommy Letchworth addressed faculty, staff, and students on the need to cut programs in order to balance the budget and reinvest in core programs.
“Retrenchment is the only option for SOU,” said Cullinan. “It will enable us to sustain and advance our university, offer our students a high quality, affordable education, and serve our regional mission. The new landscape offers less certainty about enrollment and state funding, and a greater certainty that only through affordable tuition can we keep SOU accessible for Oregonians. We need resources to support and enhance in-demand degree programs and help students stay in school and earn a degree.”
The next step of the retrenchment process is to develop a provisional plan that provides a draft of program eliminations and reductions. The plan, to be released in January, will be consistent with SOU’s mission and reflect academic needs and enrollment priorities, but also enable the university to meet its budgetary goals. The campus community has a 15 university-day period in which to provide their comments for consideration in the final plan.
“Losing valued faculty members will be the hardest part of this process,” said Cullinan. “Because of the length and nature of this process, those whose programs face reduction or elimination will know well in advance, so they will have preparation time and help from SOU with their transition.
“SOU is incredibly important to present and future generations of students. Our university is vital to this region and to the state of Oregon. We need to do what is best for the short and long term. This means cutting low-enrollment, low-demand programs and retargeting resources so that SOU remains affordable and provides the programs student need most.”

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SOPTV’s “Immense Possibilities” Partners with SOU’s Digital Media Center

Public TV and community TV are joining hands for “Immense Possibilities.”
The SOPTV public affairs program “Immense Possibilities” is moving its production to Southern Oregon University’s high-tech Digital Media Center (DMC) at Rogue Valley Community Television. The program is also expanding its reach to Portland, Redding and other parts of the West.
“This is a great example of regional collaboration,” says SOU President Mary Cullinan. “We’re harnessing DMC’s exceptional technology and SOU’s talented Digital Media students to work with the experienced staff and talent from Southern Oregon Public Television. Together they’ll create a compelling TV program that can be viewed broadly in the West. It’s a wonderful showcase for southern Oregon.”
“With the help of SOU, we plan to make ‘Immense Possibilities’ a more regional program,” says Mark Stanislawski, President & CEO of SOPTV.  “KIXE in Redding begins broadcasting ‘Immense Possibilities’ in January, and this season of ‘Immense Possibiliites’ will be seen on Oregon Public Broadcasting.   We hope more stations on the west coast broadcast the series and so we can expand the exchange of community-building experiences even further.”
The DMC’s state-of-the-art “green screen” technology was a big reason for the move from SOPTV’s studio in Medford to the SOU campus in Ashland. The green screen technology allows the host and studio guests to be superimposed on a variety of virtual sets, enhancing the visual appeal of the program.

DMC's green screen allows the program host and guests to be superimposed on a variety of virtual sets.

DMC’s green screen allows the program host and guests to be superimposed on a variety of virtual sets.

SOU’s participation in the partnership also creates opportunities for dozens of students to gain real-world experience in producing a program aired on PBS stations in the West, on-air presenting and social media campaigning. “The University has made it a strategic priority for our students to be more engaged, more visible and more productive in the world outside of our campus,” said SOU faculty member Erik Palmer.
“We plan to bring more intergenerational activity to the show,” says “Immense Possibilities” host and producer Jeff Golden. “We’d like to see someone in their 20s host a regular segment within ‘Immense Possibilities’’ That’s an important element of the community building that our program is all about.”
The “Immense Possibilities” partnership will be formalized on Friday, December 6 at 2:30 p.m. in a ceremony at the Digital Media Center on the SOU campus. President Cullinan and SOPTV President and CEO Mark Stanislawski will view a student demonstration of the virtual set to be used for “Immense Possibilities.”
About Southern Oregon University
As the public liberal arts university of the West, Southern Oregon University focuses on student learning, accessibility, and civic engagement that enriches both the community and bioregion. The university is recognized for fostering intellectual creativity, for quality and innovation in its connected learning programs, and for the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit
About Immense Possibilities
“Immense Possibilities” is a weekly public TV and Internet visit with guests whose social creations are building vibrant communities.  In the process they are infusing others with realistic hope and inviting them to engage in the activities around them.  Says one recent IP guest,  “With Americans waking up almost every day to a barrage of discouraging, disempowering news stories, ‘Immense Possibilities’ is exactly what we need right now.  It inspires us with proof that positive, life-affirming solutions to our big challenges aren’t just possible — they’re actually unfolding around us everyday”
—Ocean Robbins, Founder of YES!
Immense Possibilities video highlights.
About the Digital Media Center
The Southern Oregon Digital Media Center (DMC) provides a space where people, tools and technology blend together to inspire relevant and compelling media for the 21st century. The center serves both Southern Oregon University (SOU) and the larger community in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The DMC builds on and expands the mission of SOU’s Rogue Valley Community Television organization (RVTV), and supports the teaching function of multiple academic programs at SOU. We are #thehouseofyes.
About Southern Oregon Public Television
Southern Oregon Public Television (SOPTV) is a nonprofit, community-owned, governed and operated educational television station.  Using television, the Internet and community outreach, SOPTV connects communities in five southern Oregon counties and a portion of northern California by partnering with local organizations and corporations. Made possible by the financial support of its viewers, SOPTV is accessible to all regardless of their means. SOPTV is available from Roseburg to Happy Camp, CA and from Brookings to Klamath Falls. Its headquarters are located in Medford, Oregon.  More information on SOPTV and its programs and services is available at