Lamb looks ahead: plans stability and ‘movement’ for UCO
As he starts his second semester at UCO, President Todd Lamb plans to promote campus involvement, student enrollment and PhD programs at UCO.
“I love people,” said Lamb, when discussing his interactions with UCO students. “I like to hear their background and a little bit of their bios.”
Lamb went on to discuss the plans for the Spring semester, which included keeping students on campus, financial stability and boosting our enrollment numbers, which, as a university, has seen an increase from Spring 2023 going into the Spring 2024 semester.
“The charge I have from the regents remains the same,” said Lamb. “Financial stability, liability and sustainability on campus and morale.”
“Those are all separate, but intertwined,” said Lamb.
Enrollment on campus has been an issue for the past several years, but for the Spring 2024 semester UCO saw a boost of 0.5% for the entirety of the university. While the university is up as a whole, the enrollment numbers for several colleges are still down.
Particularly in the College of Liberal Arts, which is still down 1.8% in comparison to the Spring of 2023.
“All of us are responsible for recruiting, for admissions, for retention,” said Lamb in reference to his cabinet and how officials at the university can work together to improve the numbers further.
“Our challenge is for that retention,” said Lamb. “That’s just ongoing.”
Lamb goes on to discuss how UCO can keep the retention with things such as creating a safe-campus, meeting students where they are, ensuring that UCO is accessible and affordable and making sure that there’s a good environment for students to grow.
The 2023 Fall semester also saw the introduction of a PhD program within the forensic science department that would allow students to get their undergraduate, masters and PhD all at UCO. Lamb’s goal is to continue that trend for other departments on campus.
“I think that’s the momentum and the movement of UCO,” said Lamb.
He went on to discuss the history of UCO, how the campus is the third largest in the state and how UCO is the only school in the metropolitan area. Lamb said that with these monikers, once UCO has a PhD program in any discipline, it will begin to pop up in other disciplines.
“That’s just a part of the conversation, and the long-term vision and goals of the University of Central Oklahoma.”