Southeastern News

Southeastern holds line on tuition costs this year; budget approved

DURANT, Okla. – For the first time since 2009-10, Southeastern Oklahoma State University will not be increasing its tuition rates.

The University is also holding the line on mandatory costs and room and board with no increases.

The University’s current budgeting and financial condition has been positively impacted by a recent upswing in enrollment and student credit hours.

“All of the state funding reductions have obviously had a negative impact on higher education in Oklahoma – there is no question about that,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “But with that being said, our financial condition at Southeastern is healthier today because of our enrollment growth, along with the difficult decisions and sacrifices the University made over the last four years.

These cost-saving measures include a retirement incentive program, the consolidation/elimination of programs that did not directly impact students, conservative operational spending, and furlough days. But it is important to remember that the end result was made possible only by the support and commitment demonstrated by our faculty and staff throughout the process.

“I think this (not raising tuition) sends a clear message to students and parents that we are doing everything possible to keep college both affordable and accessible. This is even more important when you consider the fact than more than 50 percent of our graduates each year are first-generation college graduates. As a University, we are very proud to be a part of such a life-changing experience.’’

Of the 25 public colleges and universities in Oklahoma, Southeastern is one of only six not raising tuition rates this year.

In the Spring of 2018, enrollment grew 9 percent in head count (HC) over the previous year (total of 3,722 students – a 7-year high) and 5.9 percent  in student credit hours (SCH); graduate student enrollment increased 52.1 percent.  This came on the heels of a 6.2 percent increase in enrollment in Fall 2017.

This summer, enrollment is up 36.4 percent in HC and 44 percent in SCH. The University is projecting another enrollment increase this fall, based on the continued growth of online graduate programs.

Southeastern’s budget for FY19 of $46,614,068 — an increase of $2,122,616 over last year – was recently approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents.  This increase will be funded by a projected increase in student credit hours.

The budget includes a new employee benefit in which the University will pay 100 percent of Oklahoma Teacher Retirement System (OTRS) from the date of employment. This benefit accounts for a large portion of the overall budget increase.

Southeastern will begin fall classes on Aug. 20.

Dr. Marlin Blankenship earns “professional coach’’ certification

DURANT, Okla. – Dr. Marlin Blankenship was recently awarded the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) certification from the International Coach Federation (ICF). The PCC credential requires an extensive amount of coach training and a minimum of 500 hours of coaching to qualify and Blankenship is one of only 10 ICF coaches in Oklahoma to currently hold the certification.

Blankenship currently serves as Director of the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Academic Advising and Outreach Center and as an adjunct professor in the graduate Native American Leadership program.

The ICF is “the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches” and is the only “globally recognized, independent credentialing program for coach practitioners.’’

In addition, Blankenship received the 2018 NEXUS award from the University Council for Human Resources and Workforce Education for a scholarly paper demonstrating the value of executive coaching within the context of career and technical education.

Blankenship has spent the last 10 years researching and implementing the use of executive and professional coaching skills and models within education. Prior to taking his current position at Southeastern in 2017, Blankenship was an education specialist at the Chahta Foundation. Prior to that, he spent 3 ½ years at Oklahoma State University helping to develop and implement a coaching program for students. His dissertation research was one of the first studies examining the use of coaching to improve student success outcomes for university students.

Blankenship also previously served as director of admissions and recruitment at Southeastern.

He holds a Ph.D. in Workforce and Adult Education from Oklahoma State University, a graduate certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching from the University of Texas at Dallas Jindal school of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Interpersonal/Organizational Communication from Southeastern.


Southeastern closed on July 4

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed on
Wednesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

The University will re-open on the following day.

Three RUSO schools anticipate saving $2.7 million due to collaborative technology effort

DURANT, Okla. – Cost-savings, efficiencies, and improved services to students are just three reasons a trio of universities in the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) are collaborating on a new technology system.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and Southwestern Oklahoma State University have all signed contracts with Colleague by Ellucian for enterprise resource planning (ERP), student information systems (SIS), finance, human resources, and talent management solutions.

“By working in partnership instead of separately, our three institutions saved approximately $2.7 million on this project,” said Northwestern president Dr. Janet Cunningham. “Each institution sought to secure the best product possible and ensure the best use of state resources. Working together as members of RUSO proved to be a winning combination for both students and taxpayers.”

The estimated cost savings were provided by consultant Brown Hendrix and include the following: Consulting and Assistance, Initial Costs (License, maintenance, third party software), Ongoing Hardware Costs, and Ongoing Software Support and Maintenance.

“This is a new system for all three universities and representatives from each of the institutions are already meeting and working together on technical and other issues,” said SWOSU president Randy Beutler.  “In addition to help from Ellucian representatives, university officials can work together and consult with each other on questions or problems. It’s a win-win for all three institutions.”

When the new system is fully implemented, institutional data will be available in a single database and accessed through the Colleague ERP, giving faculty and administration the ability to make data-driven decisions and virtually eliminate tedious manual processes.

In addition to improved operation efficiencies, the new system will allow for the implementation of new technology, which will assist students during their journey from admissions to graduation.

“Collaboration and partnerships are critical as we address the numerous  challenges in higher education today,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “As a system (RUSO), we are fortunate to have leadership in place that understands that in the end, all of our students benefit from such cooperation. And the success of this partnership opens the door for other areas of collaboration in the future.’’

7th Annual Katy Morris Shakespeare Symposium scheduled for June 12

DURANT, Okla. – The 7th Annual Katy Morris Shakespeare Symposium is scheduled for June 12 on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Produced by the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival and the Department of Art, Communication, and Theatre at Southeastern, the Symposium brings local and regional high school teachers together to focus on developing ways to make Shakespeare’s writings exciting and relevant to today’s high school students.



Kathleen Hardgrove, a Southeastern theatre professor, is directing the Symposium.

“We are bringing notable scholars and artists together to collaborate with local teachers, students, and community members to expand their knowledge of Shakespeare and to help bring his works to a new generation of learners,” she said.

To learn  more about the 7th Annual Katy Morris Shakespeare Symposium,  contact Hardgrove

Southeastern begins four-day summer work schedule on May 28

DURANT, Okla. –  Southeastern Oklahoma State University will begin implementation of its four-day summer work week on Monday, May 28. (The University will be closed on Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day).

University offices will be open Monday-Thursday and closed on Friday throughout the summer.

The regular five-day work week returns on Monday, July 30.

Dr. Wayne Jones named 2017- 2018 Safety Professional of the Year

DURANT, Okla. –  Dr. Wayne D. Jones of Southeastern Oklahoma State University received the 2017-2018 Safety Professional of the Year award from the Southwest Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers recently at their annual professional development conference. Jones, center, is a professor of occupational safety & health and is pictured with Southwest chapter vice president Scott DeBow and president Donnie Chambless. The Southwest chapter of the 38,000-member American Society of Safety Engineers represents north Texas, specifically the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.


Gov. Anoatubby to speak at Native American graduation event on May 9

DURANT, Okla. – Governor Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation will be the guest speaker at the Native American Graduation Ceremony & Reception at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9, at 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall on the Southeastern campus. The Native American Institute is the sponsor of the event, which is open to the public.

Also scheduled to be on the program are Southeastern president Sean Burrage, Native American Institute director Lauren Rowland, and School of Choctaw Language instructor Chantelle Standefer.

Bill Anoatubby has served as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation since 1987 and has been active in tribal government since 1975. His previous positions include director of tribal health services, director of finance, special assistant to the governor, controller, and he was the tribe’s first lieutenant governor.

In his first term, Gov. Anoatubby established goals of economic development and self-sufficiency for the Chickasaw Nation and its people. Today, the Chickasaw Nation is well on its way to achieving those goals.

The Chickasaw Nation operates more than 100 diversified businesses and invests much of its revenue into funding more than 200 programs and services. These programs cover education, health care, youth, aging, housing and more, all of which directly benefit Chickasaw families, Oklahomans and their communities.

Under Gov. Anoatubby’s direction, the Chickasaw Nation places a strong emphasis on preserving and sharing its heritage, history, language and culture. This commitment can be seen in the various artistically and culturally-centered programs, language services, and the world-renowned Chickasaw Cultural Center.

Gov. Anoatubby has received dozens of awards, including being named a 2016 Creative Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador, he has been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges Hall of Fame, as well as the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame. In addition, he has been named the minority advocate of the year from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Safety Engineers president addresses Southeastern students

DURANT, Okla. – Jim Smith, who serves as president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, addresses a crowd of 150 safety students Wednesday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  Smith is the director of risk control services for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services.  He related his experiences in the safety field, along with observations on job opportunities for current and future graduates. There are currently more than 400 undergraduate and graduate majors in the Occupational Safety & Health program at Southeastern.

Southeastern to host president of American Society of Safety Engineers at campus speaking event

DURANT, Okla. – The Department of Occupational Safety & Health – which offers one of the most popular majors at Southeastern Oklahoma State University – is hosting a special speaker on campus.

Jim Smith, who serves as president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, will be speaking to safety students on “The Future of Safety.’’ The event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, at 2 p.m. in the Hallie McKinney Ballroom.

Smith is the director of risk control services for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services. He is a professional member of Region IV and an ASSE member for 30 years.

“It’s a rare event when the ASSE national president chooses to visit any university program,’’ said Dr. Chris Bradshaw, chair of the Department of Occupational Safety & Health at Southeastern. “We are honored and excited that our students will be able to experience this opportunity to hear a national representative of the safety profession speak in person. Mr. Smith’s influence in setting the national safety agenda in Washington and his role as the safety director for the largest safety consulting company in the U.S. will surely offer an interesting perspective for our students on the future of safety.’’

Founded in 1911, the American Society of Safety Engineers is the world’s oldest professional safety society. ASSE promotes the expertise, leadership and commitment of its members, while providing them with professional development, advocacy and standards development. It also sets the occupational safety, health and environmental community’s standards for excellence and ethics.

ASSE is a global association of occupational safety professionals representing more than 36,000 members worldwide.

Southeastern has a very active ASSE student section, with 100  members.

There are currently more than 400 undergraduate and graduate majors in the Occupational Safety & Health program at Southeastern. The department offers face-to-face and online bachelor and online master’s programs.

The program is a Qualified Academic Program (QAP) and makes graduates eligible to apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) credential. Individuals with the GSP can then apply for the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential.