By Brian Brus
Courtesy of The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University is starting the fall semester with executive classrooms for executive courses.
The classrooms were built primarily because of enrollment growth in OCU’s master’s degree programs in energy management and energy legal studies, Dean Steve Agee said. Students deserve an appropriate environment to network with major players in the industry such as Devon Energy Chief Executive and President John Richels, Access Midstream Chief Executive J. Michael Stice, and officials with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and state Department of Energy.
The larger of the two classrooms in the first floor of the Meinders building seats 60 students, while the other can handle half that number of bodies.
That latter element is important to note because the lecture stadium seating was designed to improve interaction between instructors and students regardless of their physical presence, Agee said. He’s already tested the technology himself by teaching lessons to students in North Dakota and Colorado.
“It was just like they were sitting in any other normal class, even though they were home at the computer working through their Internet browsers,” he said. “This format is designed for distance students … to listen to the classroom conversations and participate in feedback.”
The online instant feedback program, Live Class Tech, was designed by Bob Greve, an OCU professor.
“It also captures the video so that students who miss part of class … can go back and view it later in the nine-week cycle of the accelerated course,” he said. “We really think this will help us grow the program even more.”
The classrooms were built as part of a larger plan established by donor Herman Meinders, a trustee and founder of American Floral Services Inc. A decade ago, Meinders provided $18 million to build the 80,000-square-foot home for OCU’s business school and to continue its upgrades and expansion over time. Work on the building over the summer totaled about $750,000, Agee said, and included a new, consolidated computer lab.
Another school spokesman said naming rights are available for the classrooms.
Agee said the school intends to promote the classroom upgrades with a nationwide advertising campaign targeted at students from states heavily involved in the energy industry.