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General Information

OPSU is a baccalaureate degree granting institution located in Goodwell, Oklahoma. General governance of the institution is in the hands of the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. Academic programs and financial support are authorized and coordinated through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.


The mission of OPSU is to provide higher education primarily for people of the Oklahoma Panhandle and surrounding areas through academic programs, cultural enrichment, lifelong learning experiences, and public service activities. The educational experiences are designed to prepare students for roles in agriculture, business, education, government, and industry and to enrich their personal lives. OPSU will accomplish its mission by focusing on the following goals:

OPSU will facilitate learning to a community of diverse learners in a variety of formats and in supportive and nurturing environments.

  • Recruit, retain, and graduate students
  • Promote OPSU's role as the educational , informational, and cultural center of the High Plains Region and address the broader educational needs of the area by exploring, initiating, and supporting partnerships within the community.
  • OPSU will be accountable to its stakeholders through measurement, evaluation, and self study of educational programs and support functions.
  • Promote excellence at OPSU by offering undergraduate programs grounded in scholarship with well-defined educational outcomes, which emphasize communication, thinking skills, and knowledge.


Oklahoma Panhandle State University's vision for the future is to build on its century long legacy of educational quality and service, while addressing emerging challenges and opportunities.


OPSU believes that education is the key to successful participation in society and is guided in its programs and actions by its values. As an institution of higher learning, OPSU believes:

  • in excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship, and service;
  • that quality service underlies everything that OPSU does;
  • in rapidly disseminating and applying diciplinary advancements, discoveries, and knowledge through education, applied scholarship, and professional outreach;
  • in identifying the diverse needs of learners and providing intellectual resources and appropriate experiences to assist them in meeting those needs;
  • in the worth, dignity, and potential of all individuals;
  • that our heritage is important to preserve;
  • in a mutually beneficial relationship with the primary service area;
  • that learning is a lifelong process.

Historic Background

OPSU was created by an act of the Oklahoma State Legislature in 1909 as Pan-Handle Agricultural Institute offering secondary agricultural education for the Panhandle area. In 1921, the legislature authorized the school to offer a two year college curriculum, and the name was changed to Panhandle Agricultural and Mechanical College. In 1925, the State Board of Agriculture authorized upper division college courses, and in the summer of 1926, junior and senior level courses were added to the curriculum. Two additional name changes have been ordered by the legislature: in 1967, Oklahoma Panhandle State College of Agriculture and Applied Science; in 1974, Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

OPSU, a baccalaureate degree granting institution, is an accredited university by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Oklahoma System of Higher Education, and is approved by NCATE and the State Board of Education for the preparation of elementary and secondary teachers. General governance of the university is managed by the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. The academic programs and financial support of OPSU are authorized and coordinated via the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Strategic Plan

Geographic and demographic factors give Oklahoma Panhandle State University a setting that is unique in the state of Oklahoma and is certainly uncommon among regional baccalaureate institutions across the nation. There are no other four-year institutions within 125 miles of OPSU. Population densities in the High Plaines are typically less than five people per square mile, and in many counties are less than two per square mile. There is a recently emerged and rapidly growing immigrant Hispanic population from which an increasing portion of OPSU enrollment will come. High Schools are typically small - many with less than ten graduates annually - with very limited offerings. Many of our graduates are first generation college students.

OPSU is organized into five academic schools and the University College: Agriculture; Business and Technology; Education; Liberal Arts; and Math, Science, and Nursing.

Within the context of this setting, seven overall long-term goals have been identified for OPSU.

  1. Facilitate Learning
  2. Retain, recruit, and graduate students
  3. Provide modern, safe, and accessible facilities; financial resources; and up-to-date management practices which are essential if OPSU is to accomplish its mission.
  4. Continue and enhance OPSU as the educational, informational, and cultural center of the High Plains Region.
  5. OPSU will be accountable to its stakeholders through continual measurement and evaluation of educational programs.
  6. Further enhance the excellence of the outstanding programs in rodeo, the arts, livestock judging, computer programming, meats lab, FFA, and Music at OPSU.
  7. Develop the athletic program to a level of excellence whereby it is a model of student athlete achievement in academics and sports, institutional control and compliance, fiscal responsibility, and regional competitive pride.

Within the context of these overall long-term goals, we will establish strategic objectives that contribute to the realization of the goals. Those strategic objectives will be adjusted and revised within the resources available to reflect the emerging opportunities and to address the most pressing priorities that can be achieved within that resource base. Resource acquisition will be aggressively pursued through legislative appropriations, grants acquisition, and contractual services with area businesses and fundraising activities. While it is not possible to precisely predict the future, the strategic plan will provide guidance to OPSU to insure that institutional goals are realized in managerial decision-making. The execution of this plan will be tied to salary and personnel decisions. The input of all OPSU stakeholders is invited.