The Faculty Fund (previously known as “Bridge Fund”) has been established to supplement faculty salaries in the short term through annual merit-based stipends until the goal for the Faculty Endowment is reached, as well as to provide for professional development and other faculty-related needs as recommended by the OSSM President and approved by the OSSM Foundation Executive Committee.
These stipends are invaluable to help OSSM retain the highest quality faculty for this school that is an economic engine for Oklahoma. OSSM is an extremely effective educational model strengthening Oklahoma’s students, STEM resources and economy with each graduating class. One of only 16 similar schools in the country and unique in Oklahoma, OSSM develops high school juniors’ and seniors’ innate science and math talents far beyond the traditional high school model. Rigorous college-level curriculum taught by a largely PhD faculty includes a wide variety of advanced offerings in mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics and computer science, as well as in history, literature and languages. Required physical education and fine arts classes also encourage all students’ health and wellness and development of chosen creative pursuits.
Some 70% of the teaching faculty at OSSM’s main residential campus holds a doctorate in the discipline they teach, and many have been staffing more than their own full time position for years to weather budget cuts. Faculty members tutor students in evening study halls, mentor seniors’ individual research projects and many provide stability, discipline and support as dorm parents. These remarkable men and women are the key to OSSM students’ success.
OSSM works so well because it is a public-private partnership! OSSM’s state high school salaries cannot compare with what our accomplished faculty could earn in a university environment. The average Oklahoma high school teacher salary is approximately $46,000 right now, where even assistant professors at the University of Oklahoma earn about $65,100 per year–$60,000 at the University of Central Oklahoma. To help bridge the gap, the OSSM Foundation’s Faculty Retention “Bridge” Stipend Program will provide a modest stipend once a year to supplement salaries of superb faculty and staff who go above and beyond to help bring the most positive, effective, life-changing education possible to OSSM students from across the state. These modest, merit-based stipends are very important in our hiring process and to retaining our current superb faculty who are devoted to OSSM and its students and to their role in building a strong future for our students, state and nation.
Please designate your gift for “Faculty Fund” to help retain OSSM’s awesome faculty for the coming year.