Consortium institutions discuss transfers-SOU

Consortium of southern Oregon colleges and universities to strengthen transfer agreements

(Ashland, Ore.) — Delegations from each of the institutions that make up the new Southern Oregon Higher Education Consortium will meet this month to discuss the seamless transfer of credits from colleges to universities and other matters of shared interest. The consortium members are Klamath Community College, Oregon Institute of Technology, Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University.

The Feb. 25 event, 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. in the Rogue River Room of SOU’s Stevenson Union, will be an expanded version of the annual “Articulation Retreat” that counterparts from SOU and RCC have held for the past several years. This year’s version will include groups from Oregon Tech and KCC.

“We believe this event provides a wonderful opportunity for our SOHEC colleagues to build on what already is an enormously successful collaboration,” said SOU Provost Sue Walsh and RCC Vice President for Instructional Services Leo Hirner in their joint invitation to colleagues at the other institutions.

The consortium, a first-of-its-kind alliance of Oregon colleges and universities, is aimed at streamlining students’ educational pathways and addressing southern Oregon’s specific workforce needs. The ongoing collaborative effort took root with the four institutions’ presidents following a joint lunch meeting a year ago, and was announced in late November with signing events in both Klamath Falls and Medford.

SOHEC is considered a pioneering step toward preparing students and workforce members in the region for a rapidly changing future. It has been endorsed by state officials including the governor and the chair of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

The Feb. 25 Articulation Retreat will be an opportunity for information-sharing by staff members from the SOHEC institutions’ enrollment services, admissions, academic advising, curriculum and other support services offices. The goal of the event is to improve and expand transfer programs and other cooperative agreements among the schools, to make it easier, faster and more affordable for students to transition from one degree program to the next.

Representatives of media outlets will be welcome to report on the evening’s discussions.

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Governor’s Food Drive will help SOU students in need

The annual Governor’s Food Drive is up and running through February at SOU, and those who contribute can make a real difference for students with unreliable access to food and other community members in need.

All food collected in campaign at SOU will be donated to the university’s Student Food Pantry, and monetary donations will support food assistance programs at ACCESS – the region’s community action agency.

“Our donations of food or pledges of monetary support can make a very real impact on hunger – not on the other side of the world, or in another part of the country, but right here on our campus,” SOU President Linda Schott said in announcing the food drive last month.

Recent studies have shown that as many as half of all U.S. college students have unreliable access to nutritious food. The Governor’s Food Drive draws donations from state government and public university employees throughout Oregon to support the Oregon Food Bank Network – but SOU has arranged for its food donations to go directly to its Student Food Pantry.

The Food Pantry provides SOU students who are in need with as many as 10 items of nonperishable food or hygiene supplies each week.

Red collection bags are expected to be delivered soon by campus mail to all SOU employees. The bags can be filled with non-perishable food items and returned anytime this month to collection barrels located in each building. SOU Dining and A’viands will offer a prize of coffee and snacks to employees from the building that collects the most pounds of donated food.

Employees may also sign up for monthly or one-time payroll deductions and submit the form to Michele Barlow in Human Resources. Each dollar donated is considered the equivalent of four pounds of donated food.

All employees who sign up for a payroll deduction, regardless of the amount, will be entered into a drawing for various prizes.

Other events associated with the food drive include a free concert, featuring student and faculty musical groups, presented by SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts. Admission to the “Feed Body and Soul” concert – at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in the Music Recital Hall – will be two cans of food or a cash donation at the door.

SOU Athletics will collect nonperishable food donations at the women’s and men’s basketball games on Feb. 15 against College of Idaho and Feb. 16 against Eastern Oregon University. Tip-offs will be at 5:30 p.m. each day for the women’s games and 7:30 p.m. for the men’s games.

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Magazine names Ashland among best locales to work as filmmaker

For the sixth year in a row, MovieMaker Magazine has named the scenic town of Ashland in its annual ranking of the best places to live and work as a filmmaker in the United States.

This year, Ashland placed sixth in the magazine’s Small Cities and Towns category, competing well against larger markets including New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

The magazine chose Ashland due to its picturesque filming locations, such as Lithia Park and Mt. Ashland, and because of the increase in moviemakers and actors moving to the area. Film students in the region can also take advantage of the Digital Cinema curriculum in the Communication program at Southern Oregon University.

“Because Ashland is a small, connected community, our students get tremendous benefits by learning filmmaking here,” said Digital Cinema professor Andrew Gay. “Filmmakers in the region enthusiastically support our student population with internships and PA gigs, helping them build skills that transfer to sets in larger markets such as Portland and Los Angeles.”

Gary Lundgren produced the coming-of-age film “Calvin Marshall” in the Rogue Valley in 2009, and has always seen Ashland as a welcoming community for filmmakers.

“When we made ‘Calvin Marshall’ in 2007, we employed quite a few first-timers and promoted people within their departments,” Lundgren told MovieMaker magazine. “A lot of those people are still friends of ours and have careers in bigger markets now, like Portland or Atlanta.”

Lundgren tries to contribute to Ashland’s positive and welcoming vibe by hiring a few first-timers whenever he’s assembling a crew for one of his films, such as his latest project, “Phoenix, Oregon,” a comedy about two friends who open a bowling alley and pizzeria.

MovieMaker magazine is geared toward the art and business of filmmaking, and claims to be the world’s most widely read independent film magazine. It was founded in 1993 in Seattle, but is now headquartered in Burbank, California.

Story by SOU student writer Sophie Passerini

SOU-French Dinner

SOU to host 23rd annual French Dinner

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Southern Oregon University French Club will serve its 23rd annual French Dinner – a five-course meal for students, employees and community members – on Thursday, Feb. 28.

The dinner, in the Stevenson Union’s Rogue River Room, is intended to promote French culture on campus and in the community. The dinner is organized by the university’s French Club, with the help of student union staff, French and other international students, and – for the first time – SOU athletes.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and orders will be taken at 7 p.m.

Tickets – $9 for students and university employees, and $13 for other community members – can be purchased at the Stevenson Union information booth on campus or at Paddington Station in downtown Ashland. Whole tables of eight can be reserved by contacting Marianne Golding, an SOU foreign languages professor and faculty advisor to the French Club, at golding@sou.edu.

The dinner will begin with soup, followed by a palate cleanser, quiche, salad and cheese, French bread, dessert and coffee or tea. Vegetarian options are available for the soup and quiche courses.

Wine donated by prestigious Oregon wineries can be purchased at $3 per glass for those who are 21 and older.

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audio-wayfinding-SOU

SOU subscribes to AWARE audio wayfinding app

(Ashland, Ore.) — SOU has partnered with the vendor Sensible Innovations to provide an audio wayfinding app for students, employees and visitors with sight impairments – and other users who like the convenience of audible navigation assistance.

The AWARE Audible Wayfinding app, which provides route directions to buildings and frequently visited locations on the SOU campus, can be downloaded for free from the App Store. The app was developed to help the visually impaired, but is also useful for new students or employees, visitors who are unfamiliar with campus, and others.

AWARE uses programmable “iBeacons” that are placed at various locations on campus as waypoints for users finding their way to both outdoor and indoor destinations at SOU. The beacons connect with smartphones and other mobile devices through Bluetooth Low Energy technology.

More than 200 beacons are currently in place at SOU, in often-used locations such as the Stevenson Union’s Rogue River Room, the Higher Education Center in Medford and at accessibility features such as elevators, building entrances and restrooms. The next phase of implementing the audio wayfinding service will add beacons to new and remodeled buildings including the Lithia Motors Pavilion, Student Recreation Center and Theater Building, and will bring the total to about 300.

Users of the AWARE app can choose whether to read directions or hear them, using the accessibility features on their mobile devices.

Rasha Said – a former actuarial and financial analyst with a background in mathematics and computer science – founded Illinois-based Sensible Innovations as a new standard for visually-impaired services. She is the mother of a visually-impaired child.

The audio wayfinding app is expected to be particularly helpful for universities and transit systems, but the nine initial venues posted on the Sensible Solutions website suggest a wider spectrum – ranging from the Chicago Lighthouse to the Vision Forward Foundation in Wisconsin. Wright State University in Ohio is also listed among the company’s clients.

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virtual campus tour-SOU

SOU launches virtual campus tour

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University today launched a virtual campus tour that will give prospective students and others, anywhere in the world, an opportunity view the SOU campus in an immersive, online experience.

The virtual tour is expected to be an effective tool in recruiting students, and also will be helpful for those learning their way around campus or who want to see the facilities offered by various SOU departments.

The SOU tour includes 18 tour stops, each of which has an initial 360-degree photo, in which viewers can scroll side-to-side and up-and-down, similar to Google Street View. Each tour stop also includes secondary 360-degree photos, positional media (such as videos superimposed on screens that are part of the original photo) and supplemental media (other videos and photos).

An audio tour guide escorts viewers around campus, with scripts provided by staff members from the site of each tour stop. The tour can also be viewed with virtual reality goggles, for a fully immersive experience. SOU’s admissions staff are expected to take a couple pairs of goggles with them on recruiting visits.

SOU’s Marketing and Communications, Admissions and Information Technology departments have been working on the project for the past several months with the vendor YouVisit, which has produced similar virtual tours for about 600 other colleges and universities. A photographer from YouVisit was on campus in November and shot dozens of photos as SOU’s trees showed their autumn color.

Tour stops include Raider Way, Hannon Library, the Science Building, Theater Building, Jefferson Public Radio, the Music Building, Stevenson Union, Third Eye Theater, Churchill Hall, Center for Visual Arts, Digital Media Center, Raider Village, The Hawk, Student Recreation Center, Lithia Motors Pavilion and Raider Stadium, along with the Ashland watershed trails and Lithia Park.

A link to the virtual tour has been placed near the top of the SOU home page.

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naloxone-overdose-kit-SOU

SOU campus encouraged to prepare for overdose life-saving

Rescue kits that have been placed at 18 locations on the SOU campus will enable friends or passersby save the lives of those who may be experiencing an opioid overdose.

The kits, with nasal spray containers of the rescue medication naloxone, are located primarily in easy-to-find fire extinguisher and AED cabinets throughout campus. Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, can legally be possessed and administered in Oregon. It does not have any narcotic effects, and works by reversing opioid-induced depression of the respiratory and central nervous systems.

The nasal spray is easy to use, but familiarity with the procedures is advised. Self-training tools include an eight-minute video with details on how and when to administer naloxone, and a step-by-step description of the medication’s use.

An average of more than 115 people per day die of opioid overdose in the U.S., and a spike in opioid use and overdoses has been seen in southern Oregon. SOU is taking a proactive approach to the situation because the university has lost students to overdose, and some others on campus are considered to be at risk.

Opioids include drugs such as heroin and methadone, along with prescription pain medications including hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, hydromorphone, morphine, oxymorphone, fentanyl and buprenorphine.

Overdoses requiring lifesaving treatment can occur in a wide variety of settings and circumstances, so everyone is encouraged to prepare as emergency responders.

The naloxone rescue kits at SOU are located in the Education/Psychology Building, Stevenson Union, Taylor Hall, Theater Building, Science Building, Hannon Library, Britt Hall, Cox Hall, Aspen Hall, Madrone Hall, Campbell Center, Greensprings Complex, Shasta Hall, McLoughlin Hall, The Hawk, Lithia Motors Pavilion, Student Recreation Center, and the Facilities, Maintenance and Planning office.

Enrollment office exterior-Woolf

SOU hires vice president for enrollment management and student affairs

(Ashland, Ore.) —Neil Woolf – who has led enrollment efforts at higher education institutions in Wisconsin, Washington and Nevada – has been hired as Southern Oregon University’s new vice president for enrollment management and student affairs.

He will start work at SOU on Jan. 9.

Neil Woolf“I am very excited to join the team at Southern Oregon University,” Woolf said. “Under the direction of the Board of Trustees and President (Linda) Schott, I look forward to advancing the mission of the university and assisting students in achieving their success.”

In overseeing both the enrollment and student affairs functions of SOU, Woolf will seek to maintain a steady growth in enrollment through both recruitment efforts and retention of existing students. Programs under his watch include enrollment services, financial aid, the registrar’s office, student life, the university’s student resource centers and organizations, and the Stevenson Union.

Woolf is currently the chief enrollment officer and interim assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management for the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He previously served for five years as associate vice president for enrollment management at Eastern Washington University, and for 12 years in various enrollment management and student affairs positions at Nevada State College, the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the University of Utah.

“I was drawn to SOU because of its exceptional academic and student support programs, its commitment to inclusion and equity, and the beautiful surroundings,” he said. “My family and I can’t wait to start making SOU our home.”

In his current position, Woolf has led implementation of UWO’s strategic enrollment plan, improving recruitment by focusing on approaches including search engine optimization (SEO), communicating with prospective students by text and improved collaboration with other key offices. He was one of three finalists brought to SOU for interviews in late November and early December, and was offered the job after demonstrating his understanding of the university’s challenges and opportunities in maintaining enrollment growth.

“His expertise and successful track records in both enrollment management and student affairs make him the ideal person for our position,” SOU President Linda Schott said. “I look forward to working with him to further the goals of our strategic plan.”

Woolf received his bachelor’s degree in government from Eastern Washington University, his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah and his Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

He will succeed Blaine Steensland, who filled the position at SOU in an interim capacity last January through June, and has continued to work remotely and in a part-time role with the university since late summer. He retired in 2014 after 28 years in senior enrollment management and student affairs positions with the Penn State University system.

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Dan Bulkley runs 100 meters at age 100

SOU Hall of Fame coach Dan Bulkley passes away at 101

Former SOU track and cross country coach Dan Bulkley, an Athletics Hall of Fame member who ran a ceremonial 100-meter dash at Raider Stadium a week after his 100th birthday, died Sunday night at Anna Maria Creekside assisted living in Medford. He was 101.

Bulkley coached track and cross country at SOU from 1950 until his retirement in 1979, with his teams winning several NAIA championships. He also coached tennis and skiing during his career at SOU, and was inducted into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1989. He became a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1977.

He later became involved in masters track competitions and collected almost 500 medals for his accomplishments over a 30-year period.

Bulkley was also instrumental in the development of skiing at Mt. Ashland, and remained active in the local cross-country skiing community until a few years ago.

He was born in Thailand, where his father was a medical missionary and his mother was a teacher, and he went to school in India. He earned his bachelor’s and masters degrees at a college in Southern California, then taught and coached at the high school level before and after World War II – during which he served in the Office of Strategic Services intelligence agency.

Bulkley is survived by his wife, Marjorie. A memorial service will be planned for next spring, when more family members will be available to attend.

SOU-President Schott-higher education consortium

Southern Oregon’s four higher ed institutions announce consortium

The presidents of four public colleges and universities in southern Oregon joined forces today to create the Southern Oregon Higher Education Consortium – an alliance aimed at streamlining students’ educational pathways and addressing the region’s specific workforce needs.

A memorandum of understanding signed by the presidents of Klamath Community College, Oregon Institute of Technology, Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University calls upon the consortium members to “promote innovative outreach and educational activities.” It specifically directs the institutions to share information, collaborate on complementary programming and facilities, and work cooperatively on professional training, technology and programming.

“Enhancement of the student pipeline and improvement of degree-completion metrics will be areas of particular emphasis,” the memorandum said.

The new consortium – first envisioned a year ago by the four presidents during a lunch meeting halfway between the Rogue Valley and Klamath Basin – will be announced during signing events at 10 a.m. today at KCC’s Founders Hall in Klamath Falls, and at 2 p.m. at the RCC/SOU Higher Education Center in Medford.

The four presidents will discuss their interests in the collaboration during the Klamath Falls event, and will participate in a panel discussion at the Medford event. Randy Cox, executive director of the Klamath County Economic Development Agency, will speak at the Klamath Falls gathering. John Tapogna, president and partner of ECONorthwest, will discuss his organization’s recent report, “Oregon Talent Assessment,” as part of the Medford announcement.

The consortium is Oregon’s first regional coalition of colleges and universities. It is viewed as a pioneering step toward preparing southern Oregon’s students and workforce for a rapidly changing future.

“Statewide, we expect that most higher wage jobs openings in the next decade will require postsecondary education or training for job candidates to be competitive,” said Ben Cannon, executive director of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission. “Innovative local partnerships are absolutely critical to fostering meaningful on-ramps to opportunity and economic mobility. We look forward to working with the coalition on our common goals.”

Cannon commended the four presidents for “strategically joining together as a coalition to advance the specific pathways necessary for their regional communities to thrive.”

The consortium is expected to prompt discussion about what kinds of economic growth are needed in southern Oregon, what industries the institutions should help support or attract, and how higher education can best align to meet those needs.

“Together, our united effort can create pipelines for highly skilled graduates to enter the workforce and will attract new businesses that pay living-wage salaries,” said KCC President Roberto Gutierrez. “Southern Oregon will be stronger than ever before.”

The consortium also provides a unified voice for southern Oregon, and will advocate for the region’s priorities in conversations with state and federal lawmakers. Regional grants and other combined resources are likely outcomes of the partnership.

“What excites me most about this consortium is the ability of all four institutions to work together to build a regional college-going culture that will transform our economy, strengthen families, and inspire others to pursue their dreams,” said RCC President Cathy Kemper-Pelle.

The new consortium will be an exercise in the power and flexibility of partnerships. The institutions – which already have shared academic strengths in areas including business, sustainability and healthcare – are open to exploring cooperative programs in various areas that will best serve their region and state.

“Our students, industry and business partners, and our communities all benefit through our collective voice for southern Oregon – a vibrant consortium of action focused on education, workforce and regional economy,” said Oregon Institute of Technology President Nagi Naganathan.

The four colleges and universities have a long history of working together to meet the needs of students and employers. Together, the institutions enrolled 26,600 students in 2017-18, and conferred a total of 3,370 college or university degrees.

“We have done a very good job of working collaboratively in the past,” said SOU President Linda Schott. “We are poised now to use our history of cooperation as the jumping-off point for a future of seamless pathways, interwoven academics and collective strength.”