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OU Vice President of University Outreach Announces Intent to Retire from the University

NORMAN – University of Oklahoma Vice President for University Outreach, James Pappas, today announced his intent to retire from the University, effective in December, after almost 30 years of service to OU. Pappas also serves as Dean of the College of Liberal Studies as well as Professor in the departments of Educational Psychology and Liberal Studies.

"Jim Pappas has provided outstanding leadership during his over 30 years at OU,” said President David L. Boren. “He has greatly strengthened the university outreach effort. We can never adequately express our appreciation to him."

Boren announced that Belinda Biscoe, Associate Vice President for University Outreach, Public and Community Services, will be appointed as Interim Vice President for University Outreach; Martha Banz, currently Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Studies, will be promoted to Interim Dean of Liberal Studies and appointed Associate Provost for Continuing Education; and Shad Satterthwaite, Assistant Vice President for Continuing Education Academic Programs, will be appointed as Associate Dean of Liberal Studies.

All appointments are pending approval of the OU Board of Regents.

As Vice President for University Outreach, Pappas oversees programs that serve over 100,000 participants, have 55,000 credit enrollments and provide 1,000 distance and online courses. He also administers University Outreach Advanced Programs, which has provided degrees to more than 50 military bases throughout the world. During his time at OU, over 5,000 master’s and doctoral students, who are servicemen and women, have graduated. Pappas also oversees federal and state grants that provide education and training for government employees.

Pappas is the longest-serving dean in the history of the University, having arrived to OU in 1987. As Dean of the College of Liberal Studies, he administers a stand-alone academic college that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal studies with administrative leadership, criminal justice, human and health care, world cultural studies, integrated studies and museum emphases that students can complete in online, on-site, and blended formats.

While at OU, Pappas has been responsible for quadrupling the total number of student enrollments to University Outreach programs, more than tripling the amount of grant funding received, and increasing rankings and recognition of the College of Liberal Studies on a national level.

Pappas has been active in professional associations and has served in leadership roles in many adult and continuing education organizations. He has previously served as President for the University Professional Continuing Education Association; President of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies programs; Chair of the Continuing Education, Extension and Engagement Council of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities; Executive Director of the Association for Continuing Higher Education; and Executive Director of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. Pappas currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Association for Continuing Higher Education.

In Biscoe’s role as Associate Vice President of University Outreach, she provides leadership for over 500 employees in 18 departments within the Public and Community Services division. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies, the home of the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education.

A psychologist, an internationally-certified preventionist and a state-certified drug and alcohol prevention director, Biscoe co-founded a community-based non-profit organization, Eagle Ridge Institute. In 1989, Biscoe founded Positive Tomorrows, a school for homeless youth and their families. She also founded a corporation whose mission is to garner funding to support programs that improve the quality of life for thousands of Oklahomans. During the course of her career, she has secured funding in excess of $100 million to support programs.

Biscoe has received numerous awards at the state and national level for excellence in teaching, leadership, scholarship and continuing education. Her honors include Adelle Robertson National Continuing Professional Educator Award, Great Plains Regional Continuing Professional Educator Award and Oklahoma Journal Record Woman of the Year. In 2015, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.

Banz has provided administrative oversight for all aspects of the College of Liberal Studies’ work, both academic and operational, as Associate Dean. During her career, she has served as founding director for several specialized academic programs, serving both traditional and nontraditional student populations at multiple universities. She has been honored with The University Award, presented by Southern Nazarene University to its outstanding alumni, and named to Who’s Who in the Southwest. In addition to her work in the college, Banz also serves as a member of the Executive Board for the national Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, serves as Chair of its Editorial Board, and begins a two-year term as the Association’s President in October 2016.

Since arriving to the College of Liberal Studies in 2010, Banz has led the process for revising and implementing an updated strategic plan and has led the college in completing a comprehensive academic program review. Student enrollment in the college has increased by nearly 25 percent, five new academic programs have been approved and implemented, full-time faculty appointments in the college grew from four to seven and the total faculty corps expanded to include more than 200 OU faculty and practice professionals from around the world. Under her guidance, collaborative partnerships have continued to expand, innovative approaches to student support services have been deployed and additional curricular programming continues to be under development.

            Satterthwaite, who began teaching at OU in 1998, has taught courses in political science and for the College of Liberal Studies and has previously served as University Equal Opportunity Officer. In his current role, he serves as Director of Advanced Programs which delivers graduate degree programs to military personnel on bases throughout Europe and North America. He has been honored with awards for his teaching and mentorship roles.