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June 24, 2014

OU plans to construct new residential college housing

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced on Monday that planning is underway for new residential colleges for upperclassmen and women.

Utilizing the “Residential College” community model, the new housing facilities will be designed as living/learning communities that would, by their nature, build strong communities and identities and become the cornerstone of the undergraduate experience. They will be patterned on those at Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge.

“These residential colleges will have a huge imprint on the campus and will help build the bonds of community,” Boren said. “Now mainly freshmen live on campus. This new option will be available to sophomores, juniors and seniors,” he said.

The residential college concept was created at Oxford University and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and has proven successful at colleges and universities in the United States. OU is the first university in the state and Big 12 and one of the first public universities to adopt this model.

Research in higher education shows that students who live on campus: earn better grades; are more likely to graduate; are more likely to pursue graduate studies; gain leadership experience; manage time more effectively and; are better equipped for the competitive job market.

The colleges will have their own dining rooms, study areas and intramural teams, crests and mottos. Ten faculty fellows will have offices in the colleges and seminar rooms also will be included. Parking will be located nearby.

The proposed new housing facilities will accommodate approximately 600 students in a mix of room, suite and semi-suite configurations. The facilities will including dining, faculty housing, student lounge areas and other organizational and academic amenities.

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