The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

9 March 2007

A whole new U

An idea from Kurt Hochenauer (bottom of item):

Oklahoma City and the state should consider creating a new university or a branch of an existing university in the Bricktown area.

This would be a great boost to Bricktown, and it would also give OKC residents a centralized, public university location for its area residents. I envision it as a primarily online college that would also offer hybrid and traditional courses. I see this future university as the most technologically advanced college in the state. It could also supplement curriculum at all the state's other colleges and universities. This would support trends in current higher education in terms of online education.

Apparently some city leaders actually considered the idea, according to recent news reports, but found that it just wasn't feasible because of its impact on area universities.

I hope this isn't the end of the idea. By making the new university a branch of the University of Central Oklahoma, which is probably most suited to the task, or even the University of Oklahoma, the state's most important research college, costs could be reduced. The college would not duplicate; it would supplement, create better access, and provide technological opportunities.

I like this idea, with one reservation: if you ask me, there's really no reason to put it in Bricktown, where costs are high and space is more limited every day.

Assuming we're going to do this from the ground up, the most sensible place, I think, would be just south of the "boulevard" that's supposed to replace the Crosstown Expressway. It's still central enough — it wouldn't take much to get COTPA to run a shuttle line in and out — and there's plenty of space down there just screaming for something that vaguely resembles the fabled Groves of Academe.

And the important thing, as Doc Hoc notes, is that it should not duplicate offerings elsewhere. We have rather a lot of four-year institutions already in this state, and there's no point in cloning them.

Posted at 6:24 AM to Soonerland

You're right about putting it somewhere other than Bricktown. The city would be wise to pursue non-tax-exempt development wherever it can.

Posted by: Mark at 9:47 AM on 9 March 2007

Last month, Oklahoma Baptist University started offering accelerated MBA courses in a building in the Triangle District at 111 N Harrison. The Momentum building, former headquarters for Mistletoe Express, sold last year and has been updated. Folks were still working on the structure when I drove by yesterday.

More info here:

Posted by: Don Mecoy at 11:05 AM on 9 March 2007

Posted by: EulalieShinn at 4:18 PM on 10 March 2007