The board of trustees invites inquiries, nominations, and applications in its nationwide search for the 19th president of Oklahoma City University. The search for a new president was launched in response to the decision by President Martha Burger to retire in June of 2021. The new president will be expected to take office in the summer of 2021.
Established in 1904, Oklahoma City University (OCU) is a coeducational, urban private university located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the Uptown 23 district. The university is affiliated with The United Methodist church and offers a wide variety of degrees in liberal arts, performing arts, nursing, and business with more than 60 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate degrees including a JD degree through the Oklahoma City University law school. OCU enrolls more than 1,500 undergraduate students and 1,100 graduate students from 30 states and 43 countries. OCU is ranked #28 in the Regional Universities West category by U.S. News & World Report in its 2019 Best Colleges edition. OCU is also listed in Forbes magazine’s “Best Christian Colleges” and “100 Best College Buys.” The university has also been named a “Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Appointed by, and reporting directly to, the board of trustees, the president is the chief executive officer of the university principally responsible for implementing the board’s policies and overseeing strategic planning, budget management, academic mission, student success, resource development, fundraising, and institutional operations. Together with the board, the president will work to engage the university community around mission and identity, define a clear and compelling shared vision, and set the direction for integrated and collaborative operations and administrative structures. The president is responsible for communicating OCU’s vision, mission, and values to stakeholders; building upon the existing traditions, distinctiveness, The United Methodist church connections, and the strengths of the university; and, engaging students, staff, faculty, alumni, donors, and the Oklahoma City community in advancing the aspirations of the university.
Oklahoma City University seeks an energetic, accomplished, and forward-thinking leader in the presidential role at a time of opportunity and challenge, building on an institutional legacy of values based education in both liberal arts and professional studies, as Oklahoma City’s university. Minimum requirements include a master’s degree; significant experience in the administration of a multi-faceted complex organization; strong financial acumen and a track record of effectively managing human, fiscal, and capital resources; an understanding of and ability to advocate for the institutional mission; demonstrated experience in leading organizational change; a proven ability to build relationships and work effectively with a board; and a working knowledge of fundraising and advancement.
The ideal candidate will possess an earned doctorate and a record of successful executive-level experience within higher education, preferably at a private institution. The successful candidate will have demonstrated success in fundraising, possess a proficiency around the enrollment challenges of a tuition dependent institution, and have extensive experience working with a governing board in a shared governance environment. It will be important for the new president to have a record of collaborative leadership and a confirmed ability to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive educational environment. It will also be important that the new president understands and appreciates the university’s affiliation with The United Methodist Church and embraces OCU’s core values of integrity, respect, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration.
Oklahoma City University has retained Spelman Johnson to assist with this search. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled; however, complete applications received by January 7, 2021 will be assured full consideration. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at www.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Ellen Heffernan at email@example.com or Jim Norfleet at OCUPres@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
Oklahoma City University pledges to recruit, select, and promote diversity by providing equality of opportunity in higher education for all current and prospective students, faculty, and staff with respect to hiring, continuation, promotion and tenure, and applications for admission or employment, without discrimination or segregation based on sex (gender), race, age, ancestry, color, disability, genetic history, national origin, marital status, medical condition, religious creed, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, pregnancy, parenting status, status as a veteran, or the perception that a person has one or more of these characteristics.