Presidents of Oklahoma's public and independent colleges and universities have joined forces to form the Oklahoma Campus Compact, a program geared toward strengthening student involvement in community service and service learning programs on college and university campuses, the State Regents announced today.
The Oklahoma Campus Compact is designed to serve as a comprehensive framework that will assist higher education as it supports and enhances civic responsibility. It will also provide an organized way to improve higher education services and resources to Oklahoma communities.
The establishment of the Oklahoma Campus Compact is in response to the State Regents' Student Advisory Board resolution that encouraged active and organized community service efforts. The resolution noted that colleges and universities are well suited to assist in community challenges due to their geographic distribution around the state, their mission and their general commitment to community enhancement and engagement.
Through the Oklahoma Campus Compact, member campuses are linked together as a coalition, actively supporting presidents, faculty, staff and students to reach into the community, to build partnerships and improve the social and economic well being of American communities.
"Oklahoma higher education has already embraced the underlying principles of the Campus Compact organization with initiatives such as Brain Gain 2010, Smart Start and GEAR UP," said Chancellor Hans Brisch. "We look forward to joining forces statewide and teaming with national forces to make a positive difference in the communities that have supported higher education."
Serving as the Oklahoma Campus Compact Executive Committee Co-chair, Brisch joins six Oklahoma college and university presidents as founding members, including: David Boren, President, University of Oklahoma; Ernest Holloway, President, Langston University; Kevin Jacobs, President, Oklahoma Christian University and co-chair of the state Compact; Glen Pedersen, President, Murray State College; Dean VanTrease, President, Tulsa Community College and W. Roger Webb, President, University of Central Oklahoma.
Some of the primary goals of the Oklahoma Campus Compact include:
Additionally, colleges and universities who join the Oklahoma Campus Compact can benefit from national Campus Compact initiatives such as faculty development, resource development, training and technical assistance, sub-grants, conferences and more.
"The Oklahoma Campus Compact will provide a more team-oriented, focused approach to what many colleges and universities across our state consider of vital importance - community service," said Oklahoma Christian University President and Oklahoma Campus Compact Executive Committee Co-chair Dr. Kevin E. Jacobs. "By encouraging students to nurture the institutions, communities and states that have stood behind their personal and educational development, we are helping to develop the compassionate leaders of tomorrow who will carry our nation."
In addition to being actively involved in the process, the State Regents will support the Oklahoma Campus Compact by housing the organization in their offices; providing the director's salary and providing staff and funds for the program's operations. The efforts of the Oklahoma Campus Compact reflect the spirit of the Oklahoma Centennial and illustrate the Centennial concept of partnership and collaboration for the preservation and support of Oklahoma communities.
Campus Compact was founded in 1985 by the presidents of Brown, Georgetown and Stanford universities. It is a national membership organization that now consists of 682 college and university presidents committed to helping students develop the values and skills of civic participation through involvement in public service. Campus Compact's rapidly expanding membership includes public and private, two- and four-year colleges and universities, located in 45 other states and the District of Columbia. Oklahoma became the 22nd state to establish a statewide Campus Compact.
To help serve the needs of the 682 members, Campus Compact has a network of 22 state-based Campus Compacts and a National Center for Community Colleges, all of which are affiliated with the national organization, but are separate autonomous organizations.
For more information about the Oklahoma Campus Compact, contact Lisa Schmidt, Interim Director, Oklahoma Campus Compact, 405.225.9190 or Saul Magana, Assistant Director, 405.225.9128.
Oklahoma’s statewide GEAR UP grant has been matched by more than $25 million from state and partner resources. With funds totaling $45.5 million, GEAR UP receives 45 percent of total funding from the federal government and 55 percent from other organizations.