Southwestern Oklahoma State University was founded in 1901 by the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature. The first classes met in 1903. Established as a Normal School, Southwestern Oklahoma State University has evolved into a comprehensive university offering programs through a professional doctorate degree. SWOSU is authorized to grant twelve Associate and Applied degrees, ten bachelor degrees, four masters degrees and the Doctor of Pharmacy. The degrees granted cover a wide diversity of programs. SWOSU was originally established in Weatherford, Oklahoma to serve the western and southwestern region of Oklahoma. In 1987, Sayre Junior College merged with SWOSU adding a two-year branch campus in far western Oklahoma. SWOSU is one of ten public, regional universities in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education serves as the coordinating board for the statewide higher education system. The principal duties of the coordination board are to set academic standards and to allocate funds appropriated by the Oklahoma Legislature to the various state colleges and universities.
The Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges serves as the governing board of the University. The principal duty of the governing board is to provide operational oversight to the University. SWOSU has a clearly defined mission, therefore it is extremely important that SWOSU has clearly defined strategic goals to guide the University into the 21st Century. Because the future of SWOSU is so vital, this strategic plan has been crafted. Perhaps some may consider the plan too ambitious considering the limited resources with which the University is faced. The goals of the plan, however, are achievable. To accomplish these goals, university stakeholders need to adopt them with enthusiasm and believe that they can be achieved. The plan will require seeking new funds from nontraditional sources and the reallocation of existing resources within the University.
With the successful implementation of this plan, Southwestern Oklahoma State University can achieve its vision - The Agenda for Excellence. The end result will be the successful accomplishment of SWOSU's mission for the betterment of its constituents.