Regents' Update
by Susan Winchester, Chair

This is a watershed moment in our country’s history. The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to shift focus rapidly and to reassess our strategies for continuing to meet our critical mission – to provide students with a high quality, affordable education so that they can reach their highest potential and thrive in an increasingly complex, global society.

The spread of the coronavirus across the world has changed what this week – and many to come – look like. 
It has been challenging, but I am proud to say that our university communities – our administration, faculty, staff and students - have been responsive, attentive and flexible in this time of uncertainty.

Our university presidents are in regular contact with each other and with the governor, we are developing contingency plans for the future, and we are committed to guiding and protecting our students and employees.

As of my writing this, all six RUSO universities are planning alternative instructional delivery methods for all classes in the weeks following. We are being intentional about revising residence hall policies, converting food service and deep cleaning all of our facilities. On-campus events and classes have been suspended for now, because the well-being and education of our nearly 38,000 students remain the top priorities.

We will learn from this moment. This crisis is an opportunity for us to recommit to innovation in education, to embrace information technology solutions vigorously, and to become leaders in online education and other alternative delivery methods. This can be a catalyst for us to offer the best blend of virtual and face-to-face education. Oklahomans’ ability to look after each other in a time of crisis gives me confidence that we will continue to serve, educate and inspire in the coming months. And we will do it with inclusion, innovation, strengthened relationships and the clarity that comes with facing this changing landscape together.
Benefits Update

Telemedicine Available for Faculty
& Staff of RUSO schools
by Crystal Chavez, RUSO/OKHEEI Benefits Coordinator
As of the first week of April, the following RUSO schools will be adding a telemedicine benefit to the medical plans currently offered!

  • East Central University
  • Northeastern State University
  • Northwestern Oklahoma State University
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State University
  • Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Campus HR and Benefits staff will notify employees once the benefit is active for your campus.

  • University of Central Oklahoma currently has a telemedicine benefit in place, and employees may access this benefit immediately. 
Virtual visits allow you to consult a doctor for non-emergency situations by phone, mobile app or online video anytime, anywhere.

·          24/7 access to board-certified MDLIVE doctors
·          Access via phone, online video or mobile app from almost anywhere
·          Average wait time of less than 20 minutes
·          If needed, get a prescription sent to your local pharmacy

COVID-19 and Telemedicine
If you are unsure whether your symptoms meet the criteria for a COVID-19 diagnosis or testing, a telemedicine appointment is a logical first step since many of the COVID-19 symptoms are easily mistaken for a common cold, the flu or allergies. If an MDLIVE physician determines that a member meets the COVID-19 testing criteria, the MDLIVE physician will direct the member to a local ER for further care.

COVID-19 Testing
If your doctor determines that COVID-19 testing is in order for you or your dependent, copay/coinsurance for testing and lab work will be $0 on all offered plans, regardless of the network of the provider.

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Updates from RUSO
Dr. Thomas Newsom named President of Southeastern
In January, the RUSO Board of Regents announced that Dr. Thomas Newsom will be the 21st president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Newsom currently serves as Interim Vice President for Student Success and Dean of Students at Texas A&M-Commerce. He will assume the role of president at Southeastern on April 30, 2020.

Student Success Spotlight
Chrissi Rosss Nimmo,
Cherokee Nation
Chrissi Ross Nimmo has a long history with Northeastern State University – she even jokes she was born there. The Cherokee tribal hospital where she was born would later become part of NSU’s campus. Now Nimmo serves as deputy attorney general for the Cherokee Nation. Read more
Dusty Turner,
Agricultural Entrepreneur
Operating Northwestern’s farm offered Dusty Turner a leadership role on campus and a place to apply his education. Now he is founder and CEO of a cattle feed company, the first to create a dried distillers grain cube made entirely from the byproduct of ethanol production. Read more
Great Happenings at Your Regional University
Students in ECU's chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management earned top honors at the annual state competition. The Oklahoma Human Resources State Council competition provides competing student groups with case studies on which they do a written analysis and give oral presentations. Learn More

The Riverhawks Scholar Program at NSU is the first comprehensive transitional program in Oklahoma for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities. There are currently 9 students in the program, all of whom attend three classes per semester, participate in campus activities, work 10 hours per week at an internship and more. Learn More

The annual Primp for Prom event won a statewide community service award this year. Co-sponsored by the NWOSU Department of Social Work's student organization, Primp for Prom provides high school students in the Woodward area with a no-cost opportunity to shop for prom dresses and accessories that have been donated by the community.

This semester, Southeastern set their all-time record for spring enrollment. The most significant growth was seen in programs for adult online learners and online graduate programs in Education. The recent growth in the number of graduates also means the university will add a third commencement ceremony this May. Learn More

This year, SWOSU hosted the 11th annual First Tech Challenge Robotics championship. Over 400 students from 40 Oklahoma students, age 7-10, designed, built and programmed robots to complete tasks. Learn More

Recent renovations to UCO's nutrition and food science lab will allow more research and development opportunities for students and faculty. Academic research in in the areas of sustainable processing and preservation technologies can positively impact agricultural and business sectors across the state of Oklahoma and on a national level. Read More
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