Southwestern Christian Hosts OICU Meeting

By Tyler Moss

Southwestern Christian University officials had the unique opportunity recently to host a meeting for the presidents of the Oklahoma Independent Colleges and Universities (OICU) on the campus of SCU.

University President, Dr. Ed Huckeby, who currently serves as the chair of the OICU Council of Presidents, and provost Dr. Reggies Wenyika represented SCU at the event.

"We were excitedto host university presidents from around the state as well as Chancellor Johnson,” Dr. Huckeby said. “This was a great opportunity to showcase the new features of the SCU campus and share our vision for the future."

The OICU is a statewide organization that serves the interest of independent higher education within the state of Oklahoma. Part of the OICU Mission Statement is to “…support and promote the values of independent higher education and especially to support and promote independent colleges and universities in Oklahoma.”

The OICU, which places a heavy focus on research and data collection, is particularly involved in policy issues relating to student aid and the inclusion of independent colleges in state postsecondary initiatives and activities, such as teacher education and enrollment and retention improvements.

The event was highlighted by a presentation from Dr. Glen Johnson, the chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Dr. Johnson, who also serves as the chief executive officer for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, presented information about Oklahoma’s role in the Complete College America (CCA) initiative. The CCA is an ambitious higher education initiative undertaken by the state of Oklahoma to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned in Oklahoma to 50,900 by 2023.

"We are exploring waysin which we cancollaborate with our educational partners at the public institutions around the statetohelp achieve Oklahoma's goalsin the CCA,” Dr. Huckeby said.

The initiative, which is backed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, includes working with K-12 by focusing on college readiness, transforming remediation, expanding collaboration with CareerTech, enhancing adult degree completion efforts, and tracking and rewarding improvements in degree completion.

The next OICU meeting will take place at the Oklahoma state capitol in April.