Southeastern News

Southeastern professor named to editing position at School Law Reporter

DURANT, Okla. – Dr. R. Stewart Mayers was recently named administrative editor of the School Law Reporter, the flagship publication of the Education Law Association.

Mayers is professor/chair of the Department of Educational Instruction and Leadership at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The Reporter provides summaries of all court cases in both state and federal courts that involve education at any level. As administrative editor, Mayers will oversee a large group of education law professionals, including education law professors and attorneys from across the country, to ensure all cases are assigned to be summarized and submitted to the co-editors of the Reporter for layout and publication.

He joined the Southeastern faculty in 2001.

Southeastern closed Monday, September 3, for Labor Day

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed Monday, September 3, in observance of Labor Day.

All classes will resume and offices re-open on Tuesday, September 4.

Southeastern begins fall classes on Monday

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will begin fall classes on Monday with officials projecting a continued upward trend in enrollment.

A number of events are scheduled this week in preparation for Monday, including a general Faculty-Staff meeting with president Sean Burrage; a Faculty Symposium; New Faculty orientation; Freshman Convocation; and orientation sessions for students.

James Dry, a member of The Choctaw Nation Tribal Council, addresses students at Wednesday’s Camp Chahta, an orientation program for Choctaw freshmen at Southeastern.

James Dry, a member of The Choctaw Nation Tribal Council, addresses students at Wednesday’s Camp Chahta, an orientation program for Choctaw freshmen at Southeastern.

President Sean Burrage offers remarks at the Faculty-Staff meeting Thursday.

President Sean Burrage offers remarks at the Faculty-Staff meeting Thursday.

Southeastern-McCurtain County instructor’s book hits USA Today best-seller list

DURANT, Okla. – You might say Kelly Stone Gamble is one of those people who practices what she preaches. Or in this case, teaches.

Since 2014, the Baxter Springs, Kansas, native has taught Introduction to Literature and Business and Professional Speaking at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University branch campus in Idabel.

And she writes a little, too.

In fact, just last week, her book, They Call Me Crazy, appeared on USA Today’s Best-Selling Books list.  Each week, USA Today collects sales data from booksellers representing a variety of outlets: bookstore chains, independent bookstores, mass merchandisers and online retailers. Using that data, the publication determines the week’ 150 top-selling titles.

They Call Me Crazy checked in at #123 on the list.

First released in November 2014 by Red Adept Publishing, the book is set in fictional Deacon, Kansas, and follows the lives of Cass Adams and her no-good husband, Roland. The book has been categorized as women’s detective fiction and women’s crime fiction, and is the first in the Cass Adams series, which includes Call Me Daddy, published in October 2016.

On the other hand, Gamble describes her books as “Southern Gothic – a little dark, and funny.’’ She notes that her students like the fact that she is a published author, and that “some of them are my biggest fans.’’

And although the book’s characters may be from rural southeastern Kansas, the author says she’s amazed how popular They Call Me Crazy is in various countries overseas.

As far as her personal reading tastes, Gamble says she prefers historical fiction and biography.

Gamble holds a B.A. in Integrated Studies of History and Business from Nevada State College, an M.A. in Humanities from California State University, and an M.F.A in Writing from Southern New Hampshire University.

She is a full-time faculty member at McCurtain County.

Fall classes begin Aug. 20 at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – Fall classes will begin on Monday, Aug, 20, at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

In preparation for the beginning of the semester, a number of events are scheduled:

  • 15 – Faculty Symposium
  • 16 – Faculty/Staff meeting and luncheon
  • 17 – New Faculty Orientation
  • 18 – Freshman Convocation

Southeastern professor honored by university in China

Dr. Jon Reid was recently honored by Renmin University of China.

Dr. Jon Reid was recently honored by Renmin University of China.

DURANT, Okla. – Dr. Jon Reid was recently recognized as an “RUC International Summer School Honorable Teacher’’ by Renmin University of China.

Reid, a professor and clinical mental health counseling program coordinator at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, was honored for his continuous support and significant contributions to RUC International Summer School.

Renmin University (The People’s University) is located in Beijing.  Reid has taught at the university the past four summers, and is currently teaching Psychology of Human Sexuality and Psychology of Grief and Loss. This year’s summer school class has about 3,900 students, mostly from China, with about 10 percent from European countries. Reid’s classes have 40 students.

Reid, a professor of psychology and counseling, joined the Southeastern faculty in 1993.

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.’’