STILLWATER — During the next 20 years, Oklahoma State University officials will look for ways to use technology to deliver the same education more quickly and at lower cost, OSU President Burns Hargis said.
As the state’s largest land-grant university, OSU has a three-part mission in the areas of teaching, research and extension. That role is critical to the state’s growth, Hargis said, and it’s one the university will continue to perform, even as it undergoes major changes.
“It is a role that extends to all people, regardless of their station in life,” he said. “And through its land-grant mission, OSU will continue to drive state success and growth.”
The university will make greater use of technology in all three of those areas, Hargis said. New developments will allow researchers to make important breakthroughs more quickly, and technology will allow the university’s extension agents to get that information to Oklahomans more quickly, he said.
“Citizens will get answers to pressing questions immediately and in forms that are interactive,” he said.
Hargis said he expects education will become more interdisciplinary, with the divisions among academic disciplines being broken down. OSU will develop and expand centers to address the most pressing problems facing the state, nation and world, including maintaining safe and abundant water resources.
OSU already is home to a facility dedicated to interdisciplinary research. The university completed work on the $70 million Henry Bellmon Research Center in 2010. At the time, university officials said the building effectively doubled the amount of research space on campus.
Hargis also expects more students will be able to go to college in 20 years. OSU will continue to be accessible to students through need-based scholarships offered through programs like Oklahoma’s Promise and through private donations.
Admission to the university will focus more closely on students’ intelligence and abilities rather than their ability to perform well on standardized tests, he said. That shift will create a better student population, he said, because a more holistic approach to admissions offers a broader analysis of a student’s ability to succeed.
“This will, in many ways, return OSU to its land-grant roots of providing a college education to all who are willing and able,” he said.