Oklahoma Panhandle State University
OPSU Partnership Recognized by State Regents From information provided by OSRHE on 05/06/2013 Oklahoma Panhandle State University, the Guymon Chamber of Commerce, and Main Street Guymon were among the 27 business and higher education partnerships throughout the state that were recently recognized for innovative collaborations that strengthen Oklahoma's workforce.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education's (OSRHE) Economic Development Grant for the Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents' Economic Development Grants.
The partnership between OPSU, the Guymon Chamber of Commerce and, more recently, Main Street Guymon, provides a variety of collaborations that benefit community and workforce development. Jada Breeden, Chamber of Commerce director, and Melyn Johnson, director of Main Street Guymon, use Facebook, e-blasts and their event calendars to promote OPSU news and events, including the Dust Bowl play written by OPSU professor Dr. Sara Jane Richter and the campus preview of the Ken Burns PBS Dust Bowl documentary. They have sponsored many campus activities, such as "Lunch With an Aggie," a coupon book for students and several student group fundraising efforts, and utilized an OPSU student intern at the chamber. OPSU also hosts meetings of the chamber education committee on a monthly basis, and for the past several years, an OPSU employee has served on the chamber's board of directors.
Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships for current students of the institutions to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the tuition waivers.
"These successful partnerships link real-world business experiences to the higher education process," said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. "One of the key benefits from these partnerships are the results-driving solutions generated to resolve business problems."