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Dear Campus Community,

It’s been a great week at OCU. I have enjoyed visiting with many of you across campus and am delighted to share some of our recent achievements in this week’s Friday Forum.

Philharmonic Performers

OCU faculty and alumni were interviewed in a recent Oklahoman article regarding the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.  Click here to read what OCU Music Professor David Steffens, Instructor of Music Tomasz Sieba, and alumnus Peggy Payne share about their experiences in this extraordinary performing arts organization. Congratulations to all of them for their successful tenures with the OKC Philharmonic.

U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges

This week Oklahoma City University was ranked among the top universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. We moved up two spots from last year to number 24 in the Western regional universities category, the best rank of Oklahoma universities in our category. This ranking is a reflection of the commitment our faculty and staff have to giving our students a rigorous, creative academic environment and a personalized education.

We also were listed on U.S. News & World Report’s A-Plus schools for B Students list, a list for schools who accept outstanding applicants whose scores are not “A.” The report praises the universities on this list for seeing great potential in these students and helping them achieve their goals.

The Chronicle’s Great Colleges to Work For

The Chronicle of Higher Education also has released their list of Great Colleges to Work For, and while OCU was not included on this year’s list, I am pleased to report that the university improved from last year in nearly every survey category. The university saw an average improvement of 4 percent to a 72 percent positive rating and an average increase of 11 percent from 2011. I am proud of our steady progress reflected in these increases over 2011 and 2012, both years in which OCU was selected for the The Chronicle’s list.

Institutional pride showed the highest survey scores at 84 percent, followed by supervisors and department chairs at 80 percent, and then teaching environment and job satisfaction, both at 78 percent. Compared to other schools surveyed in our category, our results were 5 percent higher overall. We outperformed the average institution in 14 of the 15 categories. At 66 percent, our rating for compensation, benefits, and work/life balance was 3 percent lower than other similar schools.

The survey showed that employees in every job category – administration, faculty, exempt staff, and non-exempt staff – rated the university higher than on last year’s survey. Administrators improved their ratings 6 percent, exempt staff improved ratings 4 percent, non exempt staff raised responses 3 percent and faculty showed a 2 percent raise. Total positive ratings ranged from 65 percent to 79 percent. We will be using this anonymous survey data to guide continued workplace improvements. Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey and provided this valuable feedback. I am committed, along with university leadership, to continued progress and excellence in the workplace.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey and provided this valuable feedback.