Boren says he couldn't be happier

Wednesday, September 27th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ENID, Okla. (AP) -- University of Oklahoma President David Boren is happy with his job and sees it as a citizenship project.

"We must produce great citizens. I want to turn out great citizens," he said Tuesday night at a town meeting in Enid.

Boren said a colleague asked him recently if he missed the action in Washington, D.C. Boren was a senator from Oklahoma before resigning to become president of OU. He said he thought for a moment before answering and the answer came naturally.

"We are where the action is because we are touching the next generation," Boren said "If we do not adequately educate our next generation, we will imperil our state and country," he said.

Boren said numbers reflect the role and importance of higher education in the state's future.

Research has shown states with strong education systems have more people with higher per capita income levels than other states.

Boren said people with college educations have a greater chance of earning more than $1 million in their lifetime than do those without a degree.

Statistics show one out of 12 young people in Oklahoma does not finish high school and one out of every two high school graduates doesn't go to college.

Boren pointed to the need for tutor volunteering for children, more financial assistance for training for teachers and improvements in technology.

He said technology cannot replace residential campuses where a sense of community and caring is preserved.

Boren also told the audience of about 100 that the university's fund-raising campaign, with a five-year goal of $200 million, has exceeded $450 million. Endowed professorships have almost tripled and the donor base has grown from 17,000 to more than 65,000 friends and alumni.