“You could buy everyone a plasma-screen TV for their rooms, it doesn’t matter, you have to treat everyone like adults.” - Andrew Saah, Sophmore, ORU (Accepted to University of Maryland as a transfer student)
Read the AP article here.
Ouch – one could have seen this coming. It’s something that should have happened long ago, after years of struggling with a crushing debt and a corporate culture of fear, Oral Roberts University has another major hurdle to overcome. Since its beginnings, ORU has taken on the role of a “surrogate parent/guardian” for its students. Whether you were 18 or 40 –if you lived in the dorms –you had a curfew and an RA telling you to clean your room. Adding insult to injury, it cost you a pretty penny too, and up until 2001, you had to wear business attire to attend classes.
With tuition costs soaring and more students footing the bill for their own education, they want to be in control of their college experience. ORU has improved over the years with the adoption of more customer-service oriented approaches, but the recent scandal has made many of the most forgiving students and parents take a step back and ask “what am I really getting for my money?”
Many of the former regents presided over “feeder” churches (ones that actively recruited its high-school graduates to attend ORU.) This could partially explain the drop in enrollment. In addition, the current economic pullback is probably driving many students to stay closer to home or attend community college for the first two years. (Many of ORU’s students come from out of state.)
ORU has a lot of ground to cover and must reinvent itself to survive. Vanguard University of Southern California (affiliated with the Assemblies of God) successfully reinvented itself back in 1999. Almost a decade later Vanguard is thriving. ORU can accomplish the same.
We’re not saying that ORU isn’t a worthwhile education. In fact, it’s fantastic in many ways. With no fraternities, students actually attend class, are just as competitive (mentally, physically and academically) with students from other colleges and are adequately prepared for the workplace.
Look for our new article on “What ORU Must Do” in the near future.