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Staff members' children choose OU in different circumstance than most

Web Editor

Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 13:02

 

For junior Olivia Johnson and Chief Operating Officer Keith Johnson, it is easy to keep family and work life separate. Olivia Johnson is Keith Johnson's daughter.

 

“She knows not to ask about confidential things,” Keith Johnson said. “We have boundaries we both know not to cross.”

 

Olivia Johnson said she was influenced to come to Ottawa partially because her dad worked here.

 

“My dad has worked here for a while, so I was familiar with the environment,” Olivia Johnson said.

 

“Part of me didn't want to go here at first because I wanted to try to be independent, but after visiting the campus, I liked it and it turned out to be an easy transition.”

 

The Johnsons said they enjoy having each other on campus.

 

“I get homesick, so it's nice to have someone from my family here,” Olivia Johnson said.

Keith Johnson said it's nice to see her since she has classes in the building that houses his office.

 

“We go to lunch together sometimes and she rides home with me sometimes,” Keith Johnson said. “On the other hand, sometimes she has to get a ride from someone else because I'm working late or something.”

 

Vice President and Provost Dennis Tyner has had one child graduate from Ottawa University and has three children who currently attend OU. Tyner said it can be challenging to work where his children attend school. All four of his children have had a class with him.

 

“When I'm teaching a class with them, I worry if other students think they're being unfairly graded higher,” Tyner said. “In class, I think sometimes they don't know what to call me. So they usually don't talk at all, but at a small school where I'm the only person who can teach the class, they have to be in the class with me.”

 

Tyner said it can be uncomfortable when his children come to him about problems at the school.

 

“Sometimes they want to complain to me about things that might even be my doing, but sometimes they don't have all the information,” Tyner said.

 

Tyner said he thinks having his children here has been a good experience for them and himself. He said he thinks their relationship is better now than it was when they were younger.

 

“They understand the value of things like guest speakers, because I'm always making sure they go,” Tyner said.

 

Olivia Johnson said she thought having her dad here has helped her appreciate the work the administration does.

 

“I see how stressful things can be, but how rewarding it is when things go right,” Olivia Johnson said. “I'm proud of my dad, like when students tell me how much he's helped them. It's cool to get to see him be successful in this environment.”

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