Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

January 23, 2013

Helping NSU with its Master Plan

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah is more than a community; it’s a cluster of communities. And what affects one element of the community affects everything else in the cluster.

The city is bookended by the Cherokee Nation on the southwest, and Northeastern State University on the northeast. The Cherokee Nation is the largest Native American tribe in the U.S.; NSU is the fourth-largest university in Oklahoma, and one of the few its size with roots deeply immersed in tribal history.

Not all Tahlequah residents are members of the Cherokee Nation, and not all attended classes at NSU. Some citizens, in fact, may have a distaste for tribal politics, or may have issues with certain CN leaders. Other local residents have no use for higher education, or they may object to financial partnerships with NSU or the tribe.

But whatever one’s status or philosophy, it’s a practical impossibility for any resident of Cherokee County to claim no affiliation to any of those three entities. The city of Tahlequah, NSU and the Cherokee Nation are inextricably intertwined, and any action one takes can affect everyone who lives here.

Even those who are neither enrolled in the tribe nor college courses must concede that without NSU and the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah would virtually cease to exist, because there would be no jobs to sustain the population. The CN has 8,900 employees, and while fewer than half may work in Cherokee County, that’s still a staggering number of people who draw their paychecks from its government. NSU has about 1,700 on its payroll, and again, though some of those work for the Muskogee or Broken Arrow campuses, the vast majority live and earn their wages here in Tahlequah.

There are other major employers: the nurseries, the hospital, the Keetoowahs, the city itself. But none have quite the impact of CN or NSU. You may not be on either payroll, but people in your family or circle of friends most certainly are. That’s as good a reason as any to care about what happens to the Cherokee Nation and NSU.

NSU has launched a new “Master Plan” – a 16-month, five-step process that, according to its website, aims to build consensus through outreach opportunities for both the campus and community at-large. NSU leaders want to focus on physical, social, intellectual and sustainability challenges they expect to face in the future, and they’re looking for input from several sources.

This is not just a discussion of what classes to offer, or how to attract new students, though the latter is certainly a key consideration. It’s an overarching vision of NSU as an essential part of this city, region and state, as seen through the prism of a 30-year-long lens. Resources, capital projects and aesthetics will all come into play.

Everyone already knows NSU is building a multipurpose event center, which will now be expanded, thanks to the generosity of local taxpayers. An ambitious renovation slated to begin soon for the Fitness Center will transform that facility into a “wellness center,” and bring certain academic endeavors under the same roof. New programs will be introduced, and according to Vice President for Operations Tim Foutch, the current pool could be joined by one or two more that are better suited for water aerobics and therapy than the current “lap pool.”

Many local residents use the Fitness Center for swimming, weightlifting, racquetball and more, but other potential topics of discussion might also interest them. For instance, those who dabble in history and architecture might be concerned with the future of the venerable Wilson Hall. RiverHawk fans will want to know where they’ll be going to watch their favorite teams compete. Folks who enjoy strolls or bike rides through campus might be curious about the future layout.

NSU is inviting the community to take part in its future, through a series of meetings. The first was held in October; the second is slated for 5:30 tonight (Jan. 23) in the University Center Ballroom Lounge. If you’d like to contribute your opinions, or just listen to what others are saying, it will only cost you an hour of your time. For more information on the plan, go to www.nsuok.edu/masterplan.

As we’ve said many times before, we’re all in this together, whether we like it or not. Tahlequah depends on NSU in so many ways, and in this case, NSU is also depending on Tahlequah.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014

  • Mom responsible for watching kid; restaurant’s not

    If you allowed your child to drink a bottle of drain cleaner, would you feign surprise when he fell to the floor, twitching and foaming at the mouth? If you left your curling iron within reach of your baby and she pulled it off the vanity and burned her hand, would you plan revenge on the store that sold you the appliance?
    You just might, if you’re among the litigious Americans who have abdicated parental responsibility to either sloth or the hope of a better tomorrow through a cash settlement.

    March 19, 2014

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Stocks