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January 17, 2003 :: College Presidents to Host Workshop Touting College, Business Partnerships

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To illustrate how Oklahoma’s colleges and universities can play a pivotal role in the state’s economic development efforts, a workshop titled, “Tools and Systems for College Business Partnerships,” will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 28, at the Rose State College Student Union, 6420 S.E. 15th St. in Midwest City.

The Council of Presidents, an organization comprised of presidents from Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities and serving in an advisory capacity to the chancellor for higher education, is sponsoring this half-day event.

“Studies indicate that a state’s economic vitality is determined by the active involvement of its higher education community with business and industry,” said Dr. Donnie Nero, president of Connors State College, Warner. “Our colleges and universities must become more proactive in their economic development activities if our state is to pull itself out of these difficult times. This workshop could perhaps serve as a springboard for future partnerships in our state.”

During the workshop, higher education officials, including Oklahoma’s new chancellor, Dr. Paul G. Risser, along with various state leaders who are actively involved in economic development activities, will present tools and resources that are considered essential to building a strong state economy.

“It’s absolutely critical that Oklahoma higher education takes an assertive posture and showcases the array of talent and resources that the business community has at its disposal. We need a prosperous state, one with a strong economy and a strong research component. Our institutions are looking forward to working with the governor and the legislature, as well as business and industry leaders in creating more partnerships that will strengthen Oklahoma’s economy,” said Risser, who began his tenure as the state’s higher education chancellor Jan. 6.

Scheduled to make presentations during this workshop will be Sid Hudson and Hugh McCrabb from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Kurt Snodgrass from OneNet, the state’s telecommunications and information network for education and government; Whit Roberts from the Southeastern Oklahoma Economic Development Network; Ron Bussert from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce; Richard Little from the Economic Development Network; Bill Grissom from the Oklahoma Technology Commercialization Network; and Altheda Anderson from Tinker Air Force Base.

Participants will also have an opportunity to hear from officials whose organizations are currently benefiting from economic development grants awarded by the State Regents. Organizations represented include the Center for Economic and Business Development at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford; the Center for Aircraft and Systems/Support Infrastructure; Oklahoma City Community College; and Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa.

Cost to attend the workshop is $15, which includes workshop materials and a working lunch. For more information, please contact Sandy Cunningham, coordinator of economic development for the State Regents, at 405-225-9127 or Rose State College at 405-733-7300.