NORMAN — Ada native Jannie Lancaster-Porter was one of the key team members at the University of Oklahoma Outreach responsible for drafting a proposal that resulted in the largest contract award in the history of the OU Norman campus. The university has been recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding managers of personnel services contracts after competing with some of the country’s largest companies and winning the $27 million U.S. Postal Service contract for the National Center for Employee Development (NCED). The new contract, beginning Jan.1, provides $13.5 million for two years with three one-year renewal options. Total value for the five-year contract, if exercised, is more than $67 million.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue our positive relationship with the U.S. Postal Service,” said James Pappas, vice president for OU Outreach. “This was among the most demanding and competitive procurement processes in which we have been involved. The postal contracting offices were very thorough and exacting in reviewing our proposal and effectively acquiring value-oriented services. We hope to be good partners in ensuring that the USPS has among the best trained personnel in the world.”

OU has administered the personnel contract for the U.S. Postal Service for more than 15 years, during which time unprecedented growth has occurred. The university has managed an employee base at NCED that has increased more than 175 percent since the initial contract was awarded. The contract employs 217 staff at the Norman NCED facility. 

“We are excited to continue working with Gary Condley, manager of NCED, and his staff,” said Richard Little, associate vice president for OU Outreach. “Additionally, the contract allows us to continue to support the 217 staff members of the training facility.”

NCED is the national technology training and conference center in east Norman for the U.S. Postal Service. The self-contained, living-and-learning center oversees and conducts hands-on technical training for postal employees from across the country who manage and maintain high-technology mail-processing equipment, vehicles, building systems and computer-information networks. The center also delivers and hosts general courses on management and leadership, business-mail management and various programs for both postal and business customers.

The center began in Norman in 1969 and operated on the top floors of OU’s Couch Tower. It offered three training programs for 7,000 students and had a staff of 50.

In fiscal year 2005, the center accommodated 175,000 students with 285 courses and 2,865 course offerings. Employees total 610.

The main NCED campus sits on a 72-acre site just off of Oklahoma Highway 9. Built in 1988, it features a complex of six interconnected, two-story buildings with 45 classrooms and 23 labs, along with administrative offices, distance learning studios and a 500-seat conference center. A 996-room housing facility was built in 1992 and includes a health clinic, food court, fitness center and gym, game rooms and a pool.

Three additional leased facilities are on Rock Creek Road. The newest addition to the facility is an East Learning Center on the main NCED campus on Highway 9. Combined, the facilities offer 80 classrooms and 30 labs.

University of Oklahoma Outreach is a lifelong learning organization comprised of the College of Continuing Education and College of Liberal Studies. For fiscal year 2004, Outreach had consolidated revenues of $90.5 million.