Monday, October 31, 2011
***Welcome Dr. Rick Niece***
Life Lessons from An Unlikely Teacher
Book 1 in the Fanfare for a Hometown Series
Raised in a small town, population of 900 in Ohio, Dr. Rick Niece attended a school that housed all classes, grades 1-12 in one building. After graduating from high school, he attended Ohio State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree, with majors in English and Speech. His Masters Degree and PH.D are from Kent State University.
Dr. Niece began his professional career in education as a high school English, and Speech teacher, and he subsequently held a variety of administrative positions at the public school level. In 1988, he left the public school sector to enter higher education, where he has served in several positions: Professor; Academic dean; Provost; and Executive Vice-President. In 1997, he was named President of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas.
Dr. Niece has also received several major awards including: The Arkansas Non-Profit Executive Of The Year; The Kent State University Alumni Association Special Achievement Award; The International Assembly For Collegiate Business Education EDUCATOR Of The Year; The Johnson County Lifetime Achievement Award; Johnson County Chamber Of Commerce(Arkansas); The Chief Executive Of The Year For District IV; Council For Advancement and Support of Education(CASE); The Most Supportive President Of The Year; National Award from Students in Free Enterprise(SIFE); and the Paul Harris FELLOW, Clarksville Rotary Club. Dr. Niece affirms that he has truly enjoyed each position he has held as an educator, and to this day never says, 'I am going to work!' He always says, 'I am going to school!' That subtle, yet pronounced, distinction between the two statements, reflects his joy and pride in being an educator.
While President of the University of the Ozarks, the campus has experienced a number of successes including:More than tripled the value of endowment; Grown enrollment by over 25%; Improved retention rates, graduation rates, and incoming Freshman ACT scores annually; Increased the number of full-time faculty from 28-50; Balanced the budget for 14 consecutive years, while maintaining a virtually debt-free campus. As President and First Lady of the University of the Ozarks, he and his wife Sheree are the proud parents of 630 students.