4 College cooperation

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Oregon Tech, Southern Oregon University, Klamath Community College, and Rogue Community College are combining forces.

“We are agreeing to work together more than ever before.”  Notes KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez.

The heads of OIT, SOU, KCC, and RCC signed an agreement Thursday morning to establish the ‘Southern Oregon Higher Education Consortium’.

The concept was first promoted by Oregon Tech President Dr. Nagi Naganathan.  “First of all, I think this is a time where competing partners have to learn to collaborate for a common purpose.”

Klamath Community College President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez believes the partnership will strengthen all four schools.  “We will work together to attract business and industry – we’ll work together on joint programs, joint applications, joint grants – because it makes us a bigger powerhouse.”

“I think if we can see what common good we are trying to do, collectively, I believe we can achieve more.”  Adds Dr. Naganathan.  “It is about exercising the power of partnership.”

Dr. Gutierrez believes the partnership could help the schools to stay on the leading edge of technology.   “What program was O.I.T. thinking of starting – but it was just too expensive?  How can we work together?”

“I think this memorandum freely allows us to exchange what we have to offer, and bring about the larger societal good.”   Says Dr. Naganathan.

During a recent visit to Klamath Falls, U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson questioned Naganathan and Gutierrez about improving access to education by active duty personnel.

Both presidents say the memorandum can help to accomplish that goal.

“Absolutely.”  States Dr. Gutierrez.  “We, all of us – and I believe I can speak on this subject for all four institutions – we’re about serving our men and women in uniform.  We have to do that, it’s the right thing to do.”

Dr. Naganathan agrees.  “If all of us can get together, we can create more relevant programming to help our veterans, and also people in active duty right now.”

There are more than 24,000 students enrolled at the four colleges.

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