News Item

OWCC Trustees Recommend New Name for College, Approve Science Building Design Concept


NICEVILLE, FL --- Expressing a strong desire to maintain ties to the heritage and reputation of Okaloosa-Walton Community College, the OWCC District Board of Trustees voted unanimously January 20 to recommend the college be re-named "Okaloosa-Walton College" - a change required by O-W's new authorization to offer bachelor's degrees.

"It is important for us to keep the two counties as part of the name," said trustee J.E. Smith, CEO of CHELCO.

The trustee recommendation must now be formally approved by the Florida Legislature. College officials plan to change to a new name July 1, prior to the start of the Fall Term and the beginning of OWCC's new bachelor's degree programs in management and nursing.

"This college remains part of the state's division of community colleges  the 'Great 28' -- along with the four other institutions who have also received authority to award bachelor's degrees," said Dr. Bob Richburg, OWCC president. "O-W is now both a community college and an institution accredited to award four-year degrees. Regardless of whether community is part of our name  it is an integral part of who we are."

Trustee Chair Elizabeth Campbell noted that just as the state's largest community colleges, Miami-Dade Community College and St. Petersburg Junior College, retained the service-district part of their name when each had to drop the portion which designated a two-year degree status, OWCC should retain its ties to the two counties which the college primarily serves.

In other matters, trustees approved the first conceptual design for a new science building on the Niceville campus and a timeline for a site-work bid process. The design, presented by John Orcutt of Orcutt Associates, included a 41,000 square-foot two-story facility located in the center of the Niceville campus with an adjoining 6,500 square-foot classroom building. Orcutt Associates is part of an architectural team along Sam Marshall Architects of Pensacola and DAG Architects of Destin for the design of the project.

Trustees also accepted the college audit for 2002-03. A report from the state's Auditor General's office showed a clean opinion for the finances of the college. Admissions criteria for a Surgical Technician certificate program were also approved.

The board of trustees approved a retirement resolution honoring Dr. Roger Adams of Mossy Head for his 22 years of service at the college as a biology instructor. Adams pioneered the use of various computer-aided technologies to enhance science instruction at OWCC, including computer graphics and animation to allow for highly-interactive computer aided classroom and distance education.

As the governing board for the OWCC Collegiate High School, trustees also voted to give Dr. Richburg authority to seek a 15-year contract extension from the Okaloosa County School Board for operation of the college's charter school. Trustees also set the enrollment capacity for the school at 250 for the 2004-05 academic year.

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