From the President
The on-campus living experience at OU
It is no coincidence that those universities historically recognized as among the greatest in the United States and Great Britain -- Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Virginia, North Carolina, Cambridge and Oxford -- require freshmen to live on campus and strongly encourage upperclassmen to live on or close to campus.
It is also not a coincidence that the recent statewide commission on the future of the University of Texas found that one of the greatest deficiencies of that university is its failure to provide enough housing to allow freshmen to live on campus.
It's also not surprising that students who live on campus their freshman year have a substantially higher grade point averages and a 15 percent higher graduate rate than those who do not.
Of course, there should always be exceptions for health and financial reasons which allow freshmen to live at home with parents who live nearby.
If our goal, however, is to build a truly great university, having as many freshman as possible living on campus is critically important.
A great university is a true community where people of many different backgrounds and academic interest get to know each other and form bonds of friendship and mutual respect.
We do not grow personally and intellectually if we only live together with people we already know who come from the same cultural background and geographical area as ourselves.
Learning is not confined to the classroom or laboratory. We also learn from our peers. One of OU's greatest assests is the number of outstanding students from across the United States and from around the world who are enrolled here. Living together in close proximity during the freshman year helps form important and lasting bonds.
In addition, as one of the few public universities with faculty families living in residence halls, OU helps promote lasting intergenerational friendships. Faculty-in-Residence professors often invite colleagues into our residence halls to extend intellectual stimulation through informal "bull sessions."
--David L. Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma