Clarksville, Ark. --- University of the Ozarks President Dr. Rick Niece was named 2001 Nonprofit Executive of the Year during the 14th annual Arkansas Business of the Year Awards ceremony held Feb. 21 at The Peabody in Little Rock.
The state-wide competition, sponsored by the Little Rock-based Arkansas Business Publishing Group, honors top businesses, nonprofit organizations and executives throughout Arkansas. More than 100 nominations were received for the six categories this year. ?? Dr. Niece, who has been president of Ozarks since 1997, was recognized for helping U of O exceed the $55 million Pride & Promise capital campaign that went to improve facilities, academic programs and student services. Under Dr. Niece’s tenure, Ozarks has seen a 23 percent increase in enrollment --- from 530 in 1998 to 654 in 2001 --- and its endowment has grown from $28 million to $70 million. Ozarks has also been ranked as a "top tier" university in the Southern Region by U.S. News & World Report each of the past three years. ?? ?"I am always privileged to represent the University of the Ozarks, and being named Nonprofit Executive of the Year is another honor for Ozarks and for Clarksville," Dr. Niece said. "Executives are successful because of the people around them, and I am no exception. Our recent phenomenal achievements at Ozarks are the result of the planning and hard work of so many people. I am proud to be a part of the team."