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Position Description

and Major Responsibilities

Oklahoma State University is a comprehensive research and land-grant university (founded Dec. 24, 1890) with statewide, national, and international responsibilities. The Oklahoma State University System (“OSU”) serves more than 33,000 students from all 50 states and nearly 100 countries on its five campuses, and has over 264,000 alumni around the world. OSU offers more than 315 undergraduate and graduate degrees and options, as well as professional degree programs in medicine and veterinary medicine. OSU’s main campus in Stillwater is recognized as a Very High Research Activity (R1) institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Enrollment has experienced strong growth over the past several years, with the five largest entering freshman classes in OSU history all matriculating within the past eight years. OSU is committed to achieving excellence in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is an eight-time winner of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. Currently, ~30% of OSU students and faculty are members of diverse groups. OSU has been the top public land-grant institution in the US for awarding undergraduate degrees to Native American students since 2010. OSU’s Center for Sovereign Nations is a unique educational partnership between OSU and Oklahoma’s sovereign tribal nations.


OSU is dedicated to providing its students with exceptional academic and collegiate experiences. Academic colleges on the Stillwater campus include the Ferguson College of Agriculture; the Spears School of Business; the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology; the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Education and Human Sciences; and the College of Veterinary Medicine. OSU’s top-rated Honors College offers a small liberal arts college experience for high-achieving undergraduates. The OSU system has more than 7,000 continuous employees, including 2,171 faculty. OSU faculty members are leaders in their disciplines who are committed to teaching excellence and student success. Faculty members also engage with undergraduate and graduate students to conduct world-class research and creative activities that advance fundamental and applied knowledge. Faculty outreach and extension activities advance OSU’s land grant mission of service by sharing this knowledge statewide, nationally, and internationally. In spring 2020, OSU’s veterinary school and medical school collaborated to establish a COVID-19 testing facility, which provided exceptional service to the people of Oklahoma.


OSU has a proud legacy of international activity reaching back seventy years. In a typical year, OSU is home to over 1,800 international students, more than any other institution of higher education in Oklahoma. In addition, OSU sends almost 1,200 students abroad each year to gain a global perspective in their area of study. OSU also offers a number of dual degree programs in partnership with overseas universities, and continues to seek ways to bring OSU expertise to address global needs. OSU’s School of Global Studies and Partnerships seeks to advance OSU’s position on the global stage.


OSU has thrived under the leadership of President Burns Hargis. Since 2008, OSU has attracted over $2.1 billion in private funding. Thanks to this support, the OSU endowment has doubled; increasing from approximately $300M to now over $600M. Annual scholarship support for students has increased from $6M to $18M, support for chairs and professors has also more than doubled, and the Stillwater campus has been transformed by over 2.5 million square feet of new/updated facilities. Major new academic facilities most recently opened include the $35M Endeavor engineering laboratory facility, which is unique in the US (2018); a $6M state of the art Greenhouse Learning Center (2019); and the architecturally renowned $72M Spears School of Business Building (2018). Fundraising for the $6M Ray and Linda Booker OSU Flight Center for aviation education is nearly complete, construction is in progress, and its opening is planned for the fall of 2021. A capital campaign for a new $100M research, extension, and teaching facility for the Ferguson College of Agriculture is also well underway, with facility opening anticipated in 2023. Along with academic advances, a cultural milestone was achieved with the 2019 opening of the $70M McKnight Center for the Performing Arts (incorporating a state of the art 1100-seat performance hall, a 200+ seat recital hall, and an outdoor plaza with a high-definition screen). The McKnight Center attracts world-class artists and productions to Stillwater and provides unparalleled educational opportunities for OSU performing arts students. The new Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music building currently under construction immediately adjacent to the McKnight Center (opening 2021) will build on this cultural foundation to establish a premier academic facility for music education.


Athletics are an important aspect of social and cultural life at OSU and its surrounding region. The Cowboys and Cowgirls represent OSU in intercollegiate athletics as a member of the Big 12 Conference. With a long history of athletic success, OSU has 52 NCAA national titles in wrestling, golf, basketball, baseball, and cross country, which ranks fourth in all-time NCAA national team titles. OSU’s athletics teams are supported by an extensive complex of new, state-of-the art training and playing facilities. Most recently completed projects include the $60M O’Brate baseball stadium (2020) and the $20M Neil Patterson soccer stadium (2018). The OSU Cowboys football team plays at the 60,000 seat Boone Pickens Stadium. Each fall Stillwater hosts “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration,” which welcomes over 80,000 alumni back to campus.


Stillwater is a traditional college town with a welcoming, friendly, small-town family feel. Stillwater offers abundant opportunities for outdoor activities and enjoys excellent town-gown relations with OSU. Stillwater’s location ~60 miles from both Oklahoma City and Tulsa facilitates OSU’s interactions with the Governor, state legislature, private industry, and nearby academic institutions. Stillwater is also served by daily direct flights to Dallas-Fort Worth via the Stillwater Regional Airport. 


In addition to the Stillwater campus, the OSU system includes several branch campuses, giving OSU a strong presence statewide. OSU’s campuses partner with numerous private corporations across Oklahoma’s major industries, including aviation/aerospace, biotechnology, energy, and agribusiness. OSU’s branch campuses are the OSU Center for Health Sciences, which has its main campus in Tulsa and includes the newly completed OSU College of Medicine at the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah; OSU-Tulsa; OSU-Oklahoma City; and the OSU Institute of Technology-Okmulgee.


  • OSU Center for Health Sciences (Tulsa) and OSU College of Medicine at the Cherokee Nation (Tahlequah)
    The OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine is fulfilling a critical need in Oklahoma, and beyond, by training physicians who are qualified to treat every member of the family and enhance the health care process by applying their knowledge to treat the whole person. The administration, faculty and staff are unapologetically committed to a rural mission while focusing on care for both urban and rural communities. The college was founded in 1972 in response to a physician shortage in the small towns and rural areas of Oklahoma. Its doors opened in 1974, and its first class graduated in 1977. To date, the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine has graduated 2,928 physicians. More than half of graduates remain in Oklahoma to practice medicine, with nearly one in four practicing in a community of 10,000 or less. The majority of OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine graduates practice a primary care specialty. Today, OSU Medicine plays a vital role in COVID-19 testing for the state, works with state agencies to prepare surge capacity pandemic care, provides health services and physician education to rural areas through telemedicine and remote education (Project ECHO), and addresses the healthcare workforce shortage in rural Oklahoma. The National Center for Wellness & Recovery (established 2017) provides advanced research, innovative delivery methods, and coordinated patient care for the addiction epidemic that ravages our state. In 2018, OSU Center for Health Sciences and the Cherokee Nation established the nation’s first tribally affiliated college of medicine in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The college opened in August 2020 with an entering class of 54 first year medical students, ~20% of whom were Native American (vs. ~1% of medical students nationally). OSU Center for Health Sciences is preparing the next generation of Oklahoma healthcare workers to make significant positive impacts in all corners of the state through advanced research, relevant resources and opportunities, and a commitment to the health of all Oklahomans.
  • OSU-Tulsa
    OSU-Tulsa is the metropolitan branch campus of OSU, located in Tulsa’s historic Greenwood district.  Founded in 1999, the campus offers upper division and graduate-level coursework to students who wish to earn OSU degrees and certificates in Tulsa. The six primary initiatives for OSU-Tulsa (known as the A-S-P-I-R-E framework) are: Access to degrees, Service to the community, Premier programs and facilities, Innovation, Research, and Economic development. OSU-Tulsa is home to the Helmerich Research Center, a state-of-the-art facility that houses undergraduate and graduate engineering programs, laboratories, and space for industry-related technology and development activities. Approximately 60 faculty members are resident to the Tulsa campus, and over 2,300 students are enrolled in coursework offered at OSU-Tulsa.  Tulsa Community College is a vital partner in providing pathways to OSU programs.  Approximately 40 OSU degrees can be completed at OSU-Tulsa.
  • OSU-Oklahoma City
    OSU-OKC offers two-year technical programs, leveraging its relationship with regional businesses to deliver relevant programming that is responsive to regional workforce development needs.
  • OSU Institute of Technology-Okmulgee (OSUIT)
    Oklahoma’s only university of applied technology, OSUIT works closely with over 700 industry partners to prepare technical professionals for rewarding careers with the state and nation’s leading employers through a diverse array of non-credit, certificate, associate and baccalaureate offerings. OSUIT is regularly recognized as a national leader in the areas of positive graduate employment and low alumni debt.
  • Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. In addition to the branch campuses, the President of the OSU System oversees the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, which has offices covering all 77 counties statewide. 


OSU seeks a President who can build on the transformational changes achieved under President Hargis’ leadership to propel OSU to the next level of excellence. This extraordinary opportunity requires visionary, strong, empathetic, and effective leadership.


The President reports directly to the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma State University and Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. In accordance with policies set forth by the Board, the President provides overall leadership and direction for the University and components of the OSU System (“OSU”).


The President is expected to:

  • provide the vision and leadership needed to ensure that OSU anticipates the changing needs of society and responds quickly and effectively to those needs;
  • work with a wide range of internal and external constituencies to develop and address priorities and strategic objectives which build on OSU’s strengths and opportunities and are consistent with the mission, role, and scope of OSU;
  • implement processes that ensure the efficient, effective, and responsible use of OSU’s human, financial, and physical resources;
  • nurture excitement and excellence in academic endeavors and reward intellectual achievement and service to the mission of OSU;
  • position and create awareness of OSU as a leader with respect to growth, economic development, and enhancement of the quality of life within Oklahoma;
  • be an effective ambassador to represent OSU to alumni and general public, business and government leaders, and the State Regents for Higher Education;
  • take a proactive role in the generation of state, federal, and private funding needed to produce excellence in instruction, research, and extension/public service;
  • play an interactive and visible role in the activities of OSU, seeking and effectively utilizing input from faculty, staff, students, and alumni on critical issues;
  • embrace, expand, and harmonize the spirit of community and loyalty shared by all OSU constituents.


For further information: 

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