The Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma invites inquiries, nominations, and applications in its nationwide search for the 21st president of the University of Central Oklahoma. The search, which will be a completely confidential process, was launched in response to the decision by President Don Betz to retire in June of 2019 following eight years of exemplary service to the University and the state of Oklahoma. The new president will be expected to take office July 1, 2019.

The Position

Responsibilities of the Position

Reporting to a nine-member Board of Regents appointed by the governor of Oklahoma, the president serves as the University’s chief executive officer and is responsible for the strategic leadership and effective administration of the institution. The president articulates the University’s vision, mission, and values with internal and external stakeholders; fosters a climate of academic excellence, creativity, inclusion, and aspiration; supports and enhances the institution’s programs, services, and operations; builds upon the existing traditions, distinctiveness, and strengths of the University; embraces new opportunities to define the attributes of a great metropolitan university; exercises leadership for the University’s budget and fundraising efforts; and works with the regents, senior leadership team, deans, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, elected officials, and the broader community to ensure that the mission of the University is carried out and that the highest quality of education is afforded to all of its students.

Assisting the president in managing the affairs of the institution are eight senior officers who are direct reports: the provost, the vice president for operations, the vice president for development, the vice president for university communications, the vice president for public affairs, the vice president for finance, the vice president for student affairs, and the chief information officer.

This is an exceptional opportunity for a talented and seasoned leader to provide visionary, strategic, and operational leadership for Oklahoma’s only metropolitan university. Some of the specific responsibilities and duties the new president will have are listed below.

  • Collaborate with the Board of Regents to implement strategic initiatives and achieve established goals.
  • Assure the ongoing financial strength and viability of the University through prudent management of available resources and development of additional financial opportunities.
  • Drive and strengthen a community-wide culture of philanthropy, donor stewardship, and alumni engagement.
  • Lead and inspire the University’s senior leadership team.
  • Be an involved and active participant in community affairs and economic development; work with community leaders on initiatives that will improve the relationship between UCO, the city of Edmond, the Oklahoma City metro region, and the state.
  • Develop strategic enrollment management plans and other related initiatives impacting student recruitment, retention, and graduation.
  • Champion and expand diversity and inclusion in the student body, faculty, and staff; foster an environment in which the campus community has the knowledge, skills, and desire to embrace and support students, faculty, and staff representing diverse backgrounds and identities.
  • Maintain a visible presence on campus, regularly interacting with students, faculty, and staff.
  • Enhance an existing culture of teamwork and empowerment, recognizing the value of individuals, offices, and departments on campus in helping the University achieve its goals of enriching the student experience.
  • Serve as the institution’s chief advocate and spokesperson, promoting UCO and its interests to all audiences, including the state legislature and the public at large.
  • Cultivate and nurture an environment that attracts and retains high-caliber faculty and staff by leading a work environment in which participation, respect, transparency, and excellence are fostered.
  • Be a relentless advocate of excellence in all that UCO undertakes and be a tireless supporter of students, faculty, and staff in their efforts to serve the campus and local communities as well as bring positive attention to the University.
  • Encourage and nurture collaborative and interdisciplinary relationships among the University’s colleges as well as with other institutions and community partners.
  • Represent the University of Central Oklahoma to all of its local, state, national, and international audiences, including representing the University in national education and research associations and other associations.

Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

The University of Central Oklahoma seeks in its new president a leader with strategic vision, a collegial leadership style, and the energy and integrity to inspire the University community to new levels of excellence. Candidates for the presidency are expected to have a record of successful executive-level experience in the administration of a large and complex organization; strong financial acumen and a track record of effectively managing human, fiscal, and capital resources; an ability to advocate for the University’s mission; a proven ability to build relationships and work effectively with the full range of internal and external constituents; and a working knowledge of fundraising and advancement in a complex public institution.

The ideal candidate will be a leader with an earned doctorate and senior-level experience within public higher education, a talent and enthusiasm for fundraising, experience working with a governing board, an appreciation for shared governance and a record of collaborative leadership and consultation across all sectors of an academic institution, and a demonstrated ability to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive organization.

Additional capabilities and attributes identified as important to University of Central Oklahoma stakeholders include:

  • a strategic thinker and planner, with a proven record of synchronizing vision, capability, capacity, and resources;
  • a visionary leader and administrator with a clear understanding of, and experience with, financial planning including budget management, forecasting, cost control, and resource allocation in a landscape of shrinking state support against increasing institutional need;
  • a leader who understands the role of advancement/fundraising and its relationship to the operational and aspirational aspects of a complex, public university;
  • a deep respect for and understanding of the academic enterprise and a commitment to leveraging strengths and building academic excellence;
  • exceptional communication and listening skills;
  • an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to push the envelope for positive change;
  • demonstrated experience in assessing, retaining, attracting, and developing superior talent in the leadership team and of being comfortable delegating distributed leadership;
  • the ability to engage and inspire alumni to be active participants in the life of the University;
  • the ability to envision the potential of the university, balanced by an administrative skill set and the drive necessary to see ideas transformed into action with measurable results;
  • demonstrated self-confidence, maturity, and sound judgment befitting a chief executive officer of a complex higher education enterprise;
  • an open, transparent, and highly collaborative leadership style;
  • an enthusiastic and effective ambassador for UCO who will engage internal and external communities with clarity, sincerity, and strong consensus-building skills;
  • the ability to draw on the exceptional expertise and innovation that exists across the institution in advancing effective practices and avoiding potential pitfalls;
  • an appreciation for the role and mission of the state’s only metropolitan university;
  • a commitment to recognize excellence and celebrate the contributions of individuals across the campus;
  • an ability to work effectively with constituents of varied backgrounds and positions of responsibility both internal to the University and external across diverse communities;
  • a politically savvy administrator who is respectful of institutional culture and varied stakeholder perspectives;
  • capacity to embrace the academic mission of the University and be purposeful about innovation and continuous improvement;
  • an ability to develop programs and partnerships that reflect best practices in the way educational institutions operate and educate students;
  • an ability to provide leadership for diverse, high-quality, and innovative academic and workforce development programs offered in multiple modalities, formats, and locations; and
  • a deep understanding of shared governance and how shared governance supports an institution in planning, innovation, strategy, and vision.

History of the Position

Dr. Don Betz, UCO’s 20th president, is retiring in June 2019, after leading the institution for eight years. He succeeded Dr. W. Roger Webb who led the University from 1997 until his retirement in 2011. Prior to Webb, eighteen men previously served as UCO’s permanent president, and two served as its interim or acting president pending the appointment of a new permanent president.

President Don Betz has provided progressive leadership for the University since 2011, advancing the institution during a time of significantly reduced appropriations from the state. He and his executive team worked diligently to preserve core operations, maintain faculty and staff positions, and fund strategic initiatives through disciplined spending and increased revenue from tuition and fees, government grants, and philanthropy. UCO stakeholders applaud President Betz for maintaining the University and making strides in key areas without cutting personnel and essential services. In recognition of his significant contributions to UCO and higher education, the RUSO Board of Regents approved the naming of the University’s newest building in his honor.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Measures of Success

UCO is seeking a strategic, visionary leader to be its 21st president. It is expected that the next president will be a wise and astute administrator, a strong and effective communicator who will understand the role and current opportunities and challenges of a metropolitan university. The president will model and encourage transparent decision-making and demonstrate a strong commitment to students and their success.

While a fixed leadership agenda has not been set for the new president, there is consensus among stakeholders that he or she will need to address the following priorities, among others:

Galvanize the institution around a vision for its future

Changes in presidential leadership offer colleges and universities a unique opportunity to review, assess, and invite conversations about plans for the future. The new president will be responsible for engaging the entirety of the UCO community in considering its future path and crafting a new strategic plan. This effort will be guided by the successes of the current strategic plan, Vision 2020, which was adopted in 2013 and will sunset early in the new president’s tenure. Among the foremost priorities that will drive the University’s thinking will be its deep and abiding commitment to students, educational opportunity, and affordability; its role as Oklahoma’s only metropolitan university; and its desire to increase its engagement with and impact on the local, state, national, and global communities it serves.

Sustain a student-centered campus that transforms lives

UCO is committed to transformative education. The new president will be student-centered and dedicated to cultivating a campus environment, educational opportunities, and student life initiatives that support optimal learning and development. The president will be actively engaged in campus life and demonstrate a genuine commitment to students and their success, including first-generation college students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Over the past few years the University has increased tuition and fees to offset cuts in state funding. Students have articulated their concern that the institution is no longer the affordable option it once was, and campus leaders have observed that UCO’s relatively high student attrition rate is directly related to the institution’s cost of education. The new president must address this issue and find ways to ensure that a UCO education remains within the reach of students and that UCO’s tuition and fees remain competitive with other public institutions in the state.

Promote academic excellence and innovation

UCO has evolved over the past few decades and is now a thriving metropolitan university with an impressive range of undergraduate and graduate programs. The next president will support the University’s commitment to engaged learning and excellence in all dimensions of the educational experience. Working collaboratively with the provost and the faculty, the next president will make decisions regarding future investments in academic innovation. Building upon UCO’s strengths, there are opportunities to leverage disciplines that have strong enrollments, to bolster programs that need enhancement, to significantly increase the University’s online presence, and to design and offer additional programs to meet the needs of nontraditional students as well as the evolving workforce development needs of the Oklahoma City metro area.

Optimize the University’s enrollment and execute a strategy for growth including increased student persistence to graduation

The next president must have a firm understanding of enrollment management issues and lead the institution in undertaking strategies to stem recent enrollment declines and increase student retention and degree completion. While UCO has been successful in attracting new first-time and transfer students, about one-third of all first-time students leave the University between their first and second year, and only four in ten students graduate within six years. With the assistance of consultants from Ruffalo Noel Levitz, the University has initiated a strategic enrollment management initiative to ensure sustainable enrollment levels and provide the resources to enhance the University’s fiscal health. Given UCO’s challenges and opportunities in this area, the next president must be innovative and entrepreneurial in his or her approach to enrollment management.

Build and steward the University’s resources

The president is responsible for the management of a $243 million budget, which includes an E&G budget of $187 million. The University’s endowment is approximately $23 million. The president must have strong fiscal management skills and ability to quickly grasp the economic realities of the state and their impact on the University. In light of declining state appropriations for public higher education and the desire to keep tuition increases at a minimum, the president will be expected to generate new philanthropic revenue streams that will be critical to maintaining the quality of UCO’s academic and co-curricular programs, the strength of its faculty and staff, and the attractiveness of its facilities. The president will achieve this goal by dedicating appropriate time to fundraising; increasing support from individuals, corporations and private foundations; and strengthening relationships with alumni. It is also expected that planning for a new $60-$70 million capital campaign will begin shortly after the new president assumes office, which will provide him or her an ideal platform to advocate for institutional priorities including scholarship support for students.

Champion a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus community

UCO is a highly diverse community and has firmly stated its commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. The next president will devise additional strategies for increasing and promoting diversity in its many forms and across all University constituency groups. The president will foster and ensure a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff. The new president will have a fundamental understanding of student demographics and a desire to address the unique needs and concerns of all students including those from underrepresented groups. This is especially important in light of the changing demographics in the Oklahoma City metro area and the fact that students of color now constitute half of the student population in the Oklahoma City public schools.

Engage with and establish a strong presence in the Oklahoma metro community

UCO helps shape the Oklahoma metro area and its future through student internships, research, workforce development efforts, campus programs, and community events. Every year UCO alumni join the community’s educated and highly skilled workforce. The new president will be an active and visible presence across the region and the state, serving as the “face” of the institution and personifying its values. The president must know and understand the community and interact actively with leaders in the K-12 school system, the community colleges, cultural and social organizations, and the corporate community. The president must be a consummate relationship builder who identifies and nurtures opportunities for mutual engagement—a visible and active participant in conversations that address issues of importance to the Oklahoma metro community.

Institution & Location

About Edmond, Oklahoma

Located in Edmond, the University of Central Oklahoma is located in what MSNBC rated number one of “10 Perfect Suburbs” in America. Edmond offers modern amenities, small-town charm, safe neighborhoods, and outstanding schools. Edmond is a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, proclaimed from coast-to-coast as a city on the rise. As a centrally located metropolitan university, UCO is connected to it all, offering unique learning opportunities at one of the largest universities in Oklahoma City’s thriving community.

Population 86,739
Median Age 36
Median Household Income $71,974
Median Home Price $199,600
Walkscore 25

For more information, visit the Chamber of Commerce at https://www.okcchamber.com/index.php

Institutional Background

The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) is Oklahoma’s only metropolitan university and the top public regional university in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report. Situated on a beautiful 210-acre campus, UCO has strong connections throughout the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and is dedicated to developing in students the confidence to succeed through transformative learning experiences. UCO prides itself as a smart investment for success, preparing future leaders in an inclusive, opportunity-rich environment, with access to more than 200 student organizations and the internship, employment, entertainment, and cultural offerings of the rapidly growing Oklahoma City metro area. Founded in 1890 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, UCO connects its more than 16,000 students to unmatched value found in 121 undergraduate areas of study and 74 graduate programs from its main campus in Edmond and facilities throughout the metro area.

UCO is one of the state’s oldest institutions of higher learning, founded 128 years ago as the Territorial Normal School (https://www.uco.edu/history). Today, UCO is a thriving metropolitan university. Historical highlights include:

  • December 24, 1890 – The Territorial Legislature voted to establish the Territorial Normal School. The Territorial Legislature located the new school in Edmond. But first, Oklahoma County had to donate $5,000 in bonds, and Edmond had to donate 40 acres of land within one mile of the town. Ten of those acres had to be set aside for the new school. The remaining land had to be divided into lots that would be sold to raise money for the new school. Once this was accomplished, the city of Edmond also donated an additional $2,000 in bonds.
  • November 9, 1891 – The first class, a group of 23 students, met for the first time in the Epworth League Room, located in the unfurnished First Methodist Church. A marker of Oklahoma granite was placed in 1915 near the original site by the Central Oklahoma Normal School Historical Society.
  • 1897 – The first graduating class, two men and three women, received their Normal School diplomas.
  • 1904 – Territorial Normal became Central State Normal School. Statehood was still three years away.
  • December 29, 1919 – The State Board of Education passed a resolution making Central State Normal a four-year teachers’ college conferring bachelor’s degrees. It was renamed the Central State Teachers College.
  • 1939 – The state legislature passed a law renaming the institution. The new Central State College was authorized to grant degrees without teaching certificates.
  • 1954 – The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education gave Central State College permission to offer a Master of Teaching degree.
  • 1969 – The Master of Teaching degree became the Master of Education.
  • 1971 – The College was authorized to grant the Master of Arts in English and the Master of Business Administration degrees.
  • April 13, 1971 – The state legislature officially changed the institution’s name to Central State University.
  • May 18, 1990 – During the Edmond university’s Centennial Year, legislation was passed changing the name to the University of Central Oklahoma.
  • 1996 – The new Education building was dedicated, and the Max Chambers Library addition officially opened.
  • 2003 – The formation of the Oklahoma Center for Arts Education was announced, and a redesign of the University logo was released.
  • 2004 – The Jackson College of Graduate Studies celebrated its 50th anniversary. The UCO Passport globalization program also began, with the initiative to annually expand understanding of different cultures through a festival event featuring a different country each year.
  • 2006 – UCO became the first major Oklahoma university to have 100 percent of its energy supplied by wind power. The Edmond University was also named an Olympic community partner and Olympic/Paralympic training site.
  • 2012 – UCO moved up the ranks among the top colleges and universities in the nation, once again ranking as the top public regional university in the state according the 2013 Best Colleges list from the S. News & World Report. In 2012, UCO ranked number 27 in the list of Tier One institutions in the “Top Public Schools: Regional Universities – West” category. UCO also moved to number 72 in the overall list of regional universities in the West, up from number 81 the previous year.
  • 2015 — UCO officially established itself as the place “where art meets the river” on the Oklahoma River’s boathouse district with the grand opening of the CHK|Central Boathouse.
  • 2015 — UCO celebrated its 125th birthday with a yearlong UCO@125 celebration.
  • 2017 — Old North, the oldest building of higher education in Oklahoma Territory, reopened after a multi-year, multi-million-dollar renovation.

For a detailed look at UCO, click to see the UCO Report to the Community 2018, which provides the year’s update on the University of Central Oklahoma and some of the current initiatives: https://www.uco.edu/offices/ucomm/files/publications/report-to-the-community/2018.pdf

Mission

The University of Central Oklahoma exists to help students learn by providing transformative education experiences to students so that they may become productive, creative, ethical, and engaged citizens and leaders serving our global community. UCO contributes to the intellectual, cultural, economic, and social advancement of the communities and individuals it serves.

Vision Statement

The University of Central Oklahoma, as Oklahoma’s metropolitan university committed to helping students learn, embraces its role as a collaborative partner and leader to meet the educational, business and community aspirations of the Greater Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. Our dynamic metropolitan region shapes the University even as the University contributes to the cultural, social, economic, and intellectual life of the region to realize our shared future. Metropolitan engagement informs every dimension of the University’s activities in cultivating learning, discovery of new knowledge, and encouraging shared leadership to the extent that this synergy will inspire others to recognize UCO as one of the nation’s leading metropolitan universities.

Strategic Plan

Vision 2020

Vision 2020 reflects two critical elements of our mission and vision. First, UCO will be a top national metropolitan university. Second, all student experiences will be rooted in transformative learning so our graduates are productive, creative, ethical, and engaged citizens and leaders who contribute to the intellectual, cultural, economic, and social enhancement of their communities.

Teams of faculty, staff, and administrators were organized into four strategic direction teams and charged with recommending annual operational plans that establish measurable objectives and recommend priorities on budgetary allocations.

The strategic directions are:

  • create a culture of collaboration and change;
  • redefine Central as Oklahoma’s metropolitan university;
  • align our outcomes with our mission and vision; and,
  • align our resources to serve strategic stakeholders.

View the executive summary of Vision 2020

Pillars and Strategic Goals

  • Student Success

Improve retention rates at all levels
Improve graduation rates
Ensure students meet learning outcomes
Prepare students for post-graduation life

  • Transformative Learning

Increase the number of students engaged in high impact practices, with an emphasis on Transformative Learning (TL) activities
Increase the number of faculty and staff members engaged in transformative learning

  • Value

Increase financial support for students
Improve stakeholders’ sense of value
Increase the number of majors/programs with specialized accreditation

  • Place

Enhance both physical and virtual learning environments (campus and metro)
Grow our relationship with the Oklahoma City metro area
Create an environment that fosters and protects diversity and intellectual expression

For a detailed look at the strategic plan visit https://www.uco.edu/strategic-plan

Leadership

Statement from Mark A. Stansberry, RUSO Regent Chair:

“As the largest four-year university system in the state, the Regional University System of Oklahoma governs six of the state’s universities and these institutions have enrolled more than 40,000 students this year.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO). It was created and elevated to constitutional status in 1948 through a vote of the people to limit legislative control over university issues. These six universities have grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of students and workforce.

All six regional universities started at or near statehood as teacher certification schools. Today they are four-year institutions offering degrees ranging from education and pharmacy to forensic science, optometry, and aviation. The institutions are nationally recognized for outstanding programs, instruction, research, and leadership initiatives.

The campuses have expanded learning opportunities to remove geographical barriers. Several of the universities have satellite campuses in rural towns and all have, or are in the process of, placing nearly 80 complete degree programs online. These include bachelor’s programs crucial to Oklahoma’s workforce needs like nursing, cyber-security, business administration, criminal justice, computer sciences, career and technology education, health sciences, and PK-12 education.

Surprisingly what hasn’t changed is the struggle for funding higher education. As early as 1912, politicians were attempting to close down or consolidate several colleges–including half of the regional colleges–to reduce state appropriations. We know that by 2020, 67 percent of jobs in Oklahoma are expected to require some college education. However, only 25 percent of Oklahomans over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree. The national average is 31 percent. Our mission to serve Oklahomans who want to pursue a higher education is more important than ever.

We stand on the shoulders of all the Regents, University officials, faculty, and staff in higher education in Oklahoma who have come before us and remained steadfast in the face of even more daunting challenges than we are currently facing. We can build upon their efforts as we keep innovating. I am proud to serve alongside each of you in this work.”

The Board of Regents

The nine regents are volunteers appointed by the governor of Oklahoma:

  • Susan Winchester
  • Jeffrey Dunn
  • Lake Carpenter
  • Gary Parker
  • Connie Reilly
  • Jane McDermott
  • Amy Anne Ford
  • Mark Stansberry
  • Joy Hofmeister

To view full biographies of each regent, visit the website at https://www.ruso.edu/regents

The President’s Cabinet

John Barthell, Provost

Named UCO’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2013, John Barthell, Ph.D., leads the University’s highly regarded faculty, fostering an innovative learning community, where teaching comes first and students develop personal relationships with faculty committed to transforming lives.

Barthell served as Dean of the College of Mathematics and Science before being named Provost. Additionally, Barthell served as the College’s associate dean and the assistant dean for the Jackson College of Graduate Studies.

Barthell holds a B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Kevin Freeman, Vice President for Operations

Kevin Freeman has been with UCO for more than ten years. His most recent roles at the University include serving as the assistant vice president for business enterprises and assistant athletic director for business, as well as his prior experience in management at OG&E and in corporate planning.

Freeman’s responsibilities include Business Services, Campus Enterprises, Facilities Management, and Transportation and Police Services.

Anne Holzberlein, Vice President for Development

As both UCO’s Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the Foundation, Anne Holzberlein is guiding the UCO Foundation through an era of tremendous growth in support from alumni, friends, and the community.

Prior to leading the University’s development efforts, she was a member of the UCO Foundation’s Board of Trustees, serving as its president, secretary, and the chair of several committees. She also worked for 16 years at The Kerr Foundation in Oklahoma City, directing the administration of grants and special events. She has additional nonprofit development experience at the Center for the American Indian.

Charlie Johnson, Vice President for University Communications

After more than 20 years as an anchor, reporter, and news director in Seattle and Oklahoma City, Johnson joined UCO in 2000 as the News Bureau Director, and was named as Executive Director of University Communications in 2007. In 2010, Johnson was named Vice President for University Communications, and is an active member of the President’s Cabinet, the Crisis Management Team, the University Planning Committee, and is involved in a number of other University-wide initiatives and committees.

Johnson serves as the University spokesperson and is directly involved in media relations, as well as branding and marketing efforts for the University.

Mark Kinders, Vice President for Public Affairs

Mark Kinders, a 31-year veteran of public higher education, serves as Vice President for Public Affairs. His responsibilities include federal, state, business, and community relations. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, he is involved in all substantive decisions for the University on academic programs, budgeting, facilities, student affairs, and communications.

Kinder also provides legislative advocacy support to the Board of Regents for the six campuses of the Regional University System of Oklahoma. He also serves as UCO’s representative to, and a member of, the executive committee of the Economic Development Council of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Patti Neuhold, Vice President for Finance

Patti Neuhold has progressed within UCO’s administrative division for the past nine years, having most recently served as Associate Vice President for Planning and Budget before assuming her current role of Vice President for Finance. Neuhold’s effective commitment to developing and administering the University’s budget and her experience in business management, leadership and organizational development, have proven invaluable.

Neuhold’s responsibilities include Planning and Budget, Financial Services and Human Resources, as well as Purchasing, Payment Services, and Travel. She is also the Staff Senate liaison.

Myron Pope, Vice President for Student Affairs

Myron L. Pope has served as UCO’s Vice President for Student Affairs since 2012. During his career, he has worked in the community college system of Alabama, at the University of Alabama as the Director of Recruitment for the College of Education, at the University of Oklahoma as a faculty member in the Adult and Higher Education program, and started at OCU as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and then Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Pope teaches in the African and African-American Studies and the Adult and Higher Education programs at the University of Oklahoma. In his current role as Vice President for Student Affairs, his primary goals include student support and advocacy, the promotion of students’ involvement, and the creation of learning experiences outside the classroom.

Sonya Watkins, Chief Information Officer

As the chief information officer at UCO and a member of the President’s Cabinet, Sonya Watkins provides leadership for the continued development of innovative, robust, and secure information technology solutions in support of the University mission. The division of information technology delivers enterprise-level information services that connect students, faculty, and staff to learning resources and productivity tools, which are available anytime from anywhere.

Watkins has been with the University for more than 13 years. In her previous role as assistant vice president for information technology, her responsibilities included academic technology, technology training, service desk, technology support, web services, multimedia services, and the Central Tech Store.

For more information about the President’s Cabinet please visit:  https://www.uco.edu/presidents-cabinet/president

Academic Affairs

Academic Mission: Helping students learn so that they may become productive, creative, ethical, engaged citizens and leaders.

Academic Vision Statement: The University of Central Oklahoma is a learning-centered organization committed to transformative education through active engagement in the teaching-learning interchange, scholarly and creative pursuits, leadership, global competency, and service to others.

Academic Long-Term Goals

  • Engage Students in Transformative Learning
  • Improve Student Outcomes
  • Enhance the Learning Environment
  • Support Learning Collaborations

Academic Values

  • Integrity
  • Learning Centered
  • Academic Excellence
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Collegiality
  • Community

General Philosophy Statement

Education at UCO involves the active and intentional participation of students, faculty members, and staff. Learning is most meaningful when students take responsibility for their own education by committing the time, effort and thinking necessary to succeed, interact with faculty members inside and outside of class, engage with other students in the learning process, and pursue opportunities to apply their learning in communities outside the classroom.

Faculty create meaningful learning environments when they provide intellectually challenging opportunities, interact with students inside and outside of class, provide timely evaluation of student performance, maintain and communicate high expectations for all students, demonstrate concern for the well-being of students, reflect upon their own practices, and participate in the design and continuous improvement of academic programs.

Staff enhance the learning environment by maintaining open communication with students and faculty, ensuring the availability of resources, and otherwise assisting the learning process.

The Academic Program

UCO offers over 100 undergraduate programs and over 70 areas of graduate study.

UCO Colleges:

  • The College of Business
  • The College of Education and Professional Studies
  • The College of Fine Arts and Design
  • The College of Graduate Studies
  • The College of Liberal Arts
  • The College of mathematics & Science
  • Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute

The student-faculty ratio at University of Central Oklahoma is 19:1, and 39.2 percent of its classes have fewer than 20 students. UCO has 450 full-time and 500 adjunct faculty. The most popular majors at University of Central Oklahoma include: general studies; business administration and management; psychology; forensic science and technology; and registered nursing/registered nurse. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 63 percent.

Operations Division

Campus Enterprises

  • Business Enterprises
  • Conferences & Events
  • Contract Management
  • Housing & Dining
  • Mail Services
  • Property Management & Real Estate
  • Transportation & Parking Services

Facilities Management

  • Business Enterprises
  • Conferences & Events
  • Contract Management
  • Housing & Dining
  • Mail Services
  • Property Management & Real Estate
  • Transportation & Parking Services

Public Safety

  • Emergency Management
  • Environmental Health & Safety
  • Police Services

The UCO Foundation and Office of Development

Mission

The University of Central Oklahoma Foundation is an independent non-profit organization designed to raise funds to support the University of Central Oklahoma and its students.

The Foundation was established as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1972 to provide scholarship assistance to deserving students and support for faculty, campus activities, and vital programs at the University of Central Oklahoma. In 1994, the Foundation Board of Trustees made the decision to become an active fundraiser and the philanthropic steward for the University instead of solely an administrator of donated funds. Since then, the Foundation has more than doubled its assets, starting with more than $6 million in donations, pledges, and estate gifts in 1994 to more than $23 million today, reflecting the University of Central Oklahoma’s continued growth in size, prominence, and impact.

UCO Foundation Executive Board

Brad Pumphrey, Chairperson
Keith Kersten, Past Chair
Emily Lang, Vice Chair
Alexis LoPresto, Secretary
Mike Kloiber, Treasurer

UCO Alumni Association

The UCO Alumni Association was established in 1902 to strengthen communication, loyalty, and friendship among graduates, former and current students, faculty and staff, and all other friends of the University. As a nonprofit organization, the UCO Alumni Association promotes the general welfare of UCO through the support of its members. The Alumni Board of Directors is comprised of 33 alumni.

Mission Statement

The UCO Alumni Association fosters relationships among alumni and friends, while advocating for the benefit of the University, supporting students, and creating “Bronchos for Life.”

For more information please visit https://www.centralconnection.org/foundation

University Communications

The University Communications staff of professionals promotes the institution to the community through news releases, media relations, advertising, branding and marketing initiatives, publications, and electronic media as well as the University’s official colors (Pantone 116 and 282).

The office also serves as the public relations/advertising/marketing agency for the University’s many departments, offices and programs, ensuring the University’s story is communicated in a way that is consistent with UCO branding and graphic standards.

The latest news releases, information on institutional services, as well as many resources, guides to get students started on projects, and connections to UCO social networking groups are all part of the Communications division.

Services include

  • Branding and Marketing
  • News Releases and Media
  • Publications
  • Web Services
  • Graphic Design
  • Photographic Services
  • Video Services
  • Domain Registrations

Leadership Central (Public Affairs)

At the University of Central Oklahoma, we believe that all students have the capacity to lead. Leadership does not require formal authority or position and can be practiced by anyone interested in making a contribution and influencing a more positive future. Every student leader has the ability to affect individuals, teams, organizations, the community, and society.

Leadership is a personal journey leading to the understandings and skill sets that encourage and allow students to positively and ethically influence and mobilize others. The development of leadership begins with personal initiative and awareness – understanding one’s passions, motivations, strengths, limits, and personal values. The process of self-discovery is ongoing, and the pursuit of leadership requires perseverance and a commitment to perpetual learning.

Leadership Central serves as the home for several leaders on campus including UCO’s two leadership scholarship programs: President’s Leadership Council and Leaders of Tomorrow with focuses on organizational and servant leadership development. Leadership Central promotes holistic leadership to develop civically engaged, servant leaders who feel empowered and educated to promote meaningful impacts within their current and future communities. Leadership Central provides opportunities through academic courses; global service projects; guest speakers; UCO Leadership Academy, Leaders in Training program; TEDxUCO; and Public Affairs Task Force student organizations. Leadership Central supports civic and political discussions that enhance the University’s ability to react to local community needs and initiatives. Consistently engaging state and legislative leaders, Leadership Central also supports the Regents and University legislative priorities.

Finance Division

General financial overview:

  • Expense budget: $186,814,861
  • Total budget: $242,740,230
  • Endowment: more than $23,000,000

Budget

  • Budget
  • Planning

Financial Services

Human Resources

  • Benefits
  • Employee Relations
  • Employment
  • Learning Center
  • Professional Development
  • Talent Acquisition

Process Improvement

  • Continuous Improvement Projects
    Lean Education

Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs exists to support and challenge students as they gain a complete University education, both in and out of the classroom.

Mission Statement

We challenge and empower students to transform themselves and their worlds.

Vision

The Division of Student Affairs’ vision is that by 2018 we:

  • will graduate students who know they have been transformed through their UCO experiences and be able to articulate how they were transformed;
  • will be acknowledged and valued for our integral role in transformative student learning and success;
  • will discover, pursue, and be recognized for our relationships and engagement in the community as a metropolitan university;
  • will recruit, retain, and develop staff members who are contributing to their respective professional areas of expertise.

Core Values

  • Placing students at the center of our daily work.
  • Equipping students for lifelong learning.
  • Embracing and respecting the diversity of individuals, ideas, and expressions.
  • Fostering a community of service and leadership.
  • Seeking growth and collaboration with partners within and beyond the University.
  • Seeking excellence through assessment and evaluation.
  • Developing high quality and diverse professionals.

Information Technology

IT@UCO provides computing, networking, e-learning, telephone, training, and support services to students, faculty, staff, and the University community. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) strives to enhance learning, improve service and communication, and increase student, faculty, staff, and community access to useful information through the application of technology.

Vision

We provide services in a secure, integrated, and efficient environment through an open, communicative, collaborative, and unifying culture.

Mission

OIT provides quality, effective and appropriate infrastructure, applications and technology services in support of the university mission to achieve their goals.

Goals

Our overarching goals are focused on UCO students, faculty, and staff and their technology needs, challenges and concerns.

Athletics

The UCO Broncho athletic teams compete in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association conference. The University’s athletics program has a rich tradition of success, with 18 team National Championships and over 400 All-Americans throughout its history.

Women’s Sports

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Men’s Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Wrestling

The Student Body

University of Central Oklahoma has 16,500 students, with a gender distribution of 41 percent male students and 59 percent female students. Eleven percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 89 percent of students live off campus. In sports, University of Central Oklahoma is part of the NCAA Division II.

Benefits Overview

UCO offers a wide array of benefits. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Medical Plans
  • Dental Plans
  • Vision Insurance
  • Life and AD&D Coverage
  • Long-term Disability Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Retirement Plans
  • Tuition Waivers

For a detailed look at UCO benefits visit http://sites.uco.edu/administration/human-resources/benefits/index.asp

Application & Nomination

The University of Central Oklahoma has retained Spelman Johnson to assist with this search. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled, but complete applications received by November 9, 2018 will be assured full consideration. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Jim Norfleet at jmn@spelmanjohnson.com or Ellen Heffernan at eth@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the University of Central Oklahoma website at www.uco.edu

The University of Central Oklahoma is committed to an inclusive educational and employment environment that provides equal opportunity and access to all qualified persons. The University has established policies regarding fair and equal employment and educational practices without discrimination or harassment because of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, genetic information, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability or handicap, gender, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.