Clock ticks on finalized SOU realignment plan as changes continue

ASHLAND, Ore. – It was a far less contentious town hall with fewer participants Thursday, when compared to last month’s meeting at SOU.

It’s the final town hall for the university’s realignment plan, before it’s presented to the university’s board of trustees later this month.

But SOU President Dr. Rick Bailey said without providing specifics, that changes have been made since the last town hall and it will continue to be tweaked.

“In many ways the plan is evolving on an almost daily basis and you’ll see some of that as the next iteration comes out,” he said.

Students and faculty again shared their thoughts on the proposed plan.

A former SOU graduate with a masters in environmental education, Ryan King, created a proposal, re-imagining the masters program he was once in, after learning it could be cut entirely.

“I put together a proposal¬†¬†emailed it to President Bailey and the board of trustees and he emailed me back, it was so cool,” he said. “He was like think you for sending this to me. We’ll talk about it.”

In his proposal, King detailed how the university could house the program in the school of education for students getting their masters.

Then, partner with school districts, to create student teaching, internships and endorsement opportunities.

He believes President Bailey was receptive to the idea, as he welcomes these types of proposals.

“I can’t make any promises but of course those are things that are making us think and are there ways to incorporate that program in other ways, I know there are already conversations with education and with environment, so we’ll explore it,” he said.

As a reminder, the university hopes to erase a projected $14 million deficit by 2026.

Once the plan is presented to the board of trustees on March 17, it will consider the adoption of it on April 21.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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