Southwestern Oklahoma State University Presidential Search



The Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents invites applications and nominations immediately for the position of President of Southwestern Oklahoma State University, which will begin no later than July 1, 2021.

As the institution’s chief executive officer, the president provides strategic leadership, leading the overall operations and administration of the university, reporting to the Regional University System of Oklahoma regents (“Board”), and performing all duties required by law, policies, rules, regulations, and directives from the Board. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) serves as the coordinating board of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.

About Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Founded in 1901, Southwestern Oklahoma State University is a leading regional university whose mission is to support students and community through the integration of effective teaching, scholarly and creative endeavors, and civic engagement.

In pursuing its mission, SWOSU faculty and staff are guided by a shared commitment to students, achievement, knowledge, and respect. The University aims to foster a safe, healthy, and diverse intellectual, cultural, and social environment that encourages emotional well-being and an inclusive environment that inspires intellectual excellence, responsible citizenship, professional development, and personal growth.

Located on a 303-acre main campus in Weatherford, SWOSU offers its 4,878 students 19 different degree options across more than 100 fields of study: two Associate, 10 Baccalaureate, six Graduate, and one Doctorate. SWOSU has 14 nationally accredited academic programs and is nationally recognized for its online programs. The student-to-teacher ratio is 18:1, with more than 65 percent of full-time faculty holding doctoral degrees.

In 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked SWOSU in the categories of Best Regional Universities, Top Performers on Social Mobility, Top Public Schools and Schools with Students Carrying the Lightest Debt Load. Its College of Pharmacy is one of the top in the country and consistently ranks as one of the best values in pharmacy education. In addition, SWOSU boasts the only music therapy program and the only ABET-accredited manufacturing engineering technology degree program in the state of Oklahoma. Among its online offerings are programs in nursing, allied health, MBA and education.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University offers a vibrant and varied campus life, complete with numerous clubs and organizations, cultural events, festivals and performances, and intramural, club and eSports. The main campus offers a traditional college experience featuring eateries, residence halls, academic buildings, libraries, fitness and health centers and research facilities.

Athletically, SWOSU’s 13 varsity teams, known as the Bulldogs, compete at the NCAA Division II level as members of the Great American Conference. Collectively, the Bulldogs have been extremely successful, earning 23 postseason appearances, producing 29 NCAA All-Americans, and amassing 12 national athletic titles, the most of any Oklahoma university during the last 25 years.

In addition to its main campus, SWOSU has a sister campus in Sayre, Oklahoma, about 60 miles west of Weatherford and 125 miles west of Oklahoma City. The Sayre campus features a library, learning center and field house in addition to several classrooms and labs. It offers five fully transferable Associate in Science degrees for students heading to a four-year university and two nationally accredited Associate in Applied Science degrees for those going into the workforce.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and governed by the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents, who provide governance and oversight over six institutions in the state of Oklahoma.

Visit the Southwestern Oklahoma State University website at


Essential Responsibilities

  • Articulate the University’s vision, mission, and values with internal and external stakeholders.

  • Build upon the existing traditions, distinctiveness, and strengths of the University.

  • Support and enhance the institution’s overall operations and academic quality by maintaining regional accreditation and maintaining or increasing academic program accreditations or approvals.

  • Ensure the University maintains the highest level of compliance with all accrediting bodies for academic programs.

  • Execute thorough, astute financial management and approval of the annual institutional budget.

  • Ensure the institution’s compliance with legal and business ethics.

  • Spearhead the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and processes through shared governance.

  • Endorse a success-oriented, accountable environment within the institution.

  • Drive the University to achieve and surpass its goals and objectives.

  • Enforce adherence to legal and regulatory guidelines and in-house policies.

  • Ensure positive, productive relationships with RUSO, OSRHE, elected officials, alumni, donors, and the community to promote the value and advance the mission of the University.

  • Demonstrate support and respect for students and parents, faculty, administrators, staff, and other employees.

  • Accept accountability for and answer for university performance in the areas of:

    • Strategic planning

    • Fiscal management

    • Quality of educational programs and accreditation status

    • Quality of faculty and staff

    • Meeting fundraising goals

    • Enrollment retention and graduation rates

    • Quality and size of freshman class

    • Any internal campus assessment


Required Qualifications

  • Earned doctorate preferred

  • Dynamic written communication and verbal presentation skills

  • Interpersonal skills to interact effectively with RUSO and OSRHE, elected officials, and governmental bodies, in addition to students and parents, various constituencies of the University, alumni, advancement, media, and the community at large

  • Ability to establish and nurture relationships with and connections to community and state leaders to maximize opportunities for partnerships and support to the University

  • Proven ability to hire, develop, maintain, and advance an effective administrative team

  • Proven ability to identify opportunities and to convert challenges into innovative solutions and programs that will advance the future of the institution 

  • Ability to promote a shared vision to address challenges and create opportunities, especially in the areas of student recruitment through graduation, employee excellence, and finances with ongoing attention to facilities and technology in support of student success

  • Ability to articulate opportunities and needs to external audiences, sharing the value of supporting the University

  • Strong, proven leadership skills in strategic planning; organizational improvement and accountability; fiscal planning and responsibility

Desired Competencies

  • Collaborative leadership style

  • Effective team building

  • Understanding and appreciation of shared governance

  • Knowledge of online and distance education

  • Ability to empower others

  • Strategic thinking

  • Business acumen

  • Leadership

  • Results-driven

  • Financial management/fiscally responsible

  • Problem solving/analysis

About the Community

Located an hour west of Oklahoma City, just off of Interstate 40, Weatherford is a vibrant, progressive city in southwest Oklahoma that offers its nearly 18,000 residents a high-quality yet affordable family valued lifestyle and opportunity to thrive.

As one of the top 10 fastest-growing small cities in the United States, Weatherford features all the amenities of a larger area while still maintaining its small-town charm. It is very business friendly and includes an impressive stretch of historic Route 66, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and numerous attractions, such as the world-class Stafford Air & Space Museum, 12 parks totaling more than 800 acres, and the Heartland of America Heritage Museum. The latter features a blacksmith shop, portable town jail from the pioneer days, old one-room schoolhouse, and former Route 66 diner that served Elvis Presley during his cross-country trips! Weatherford also has a movie theater, library, hospital and historic Towne Center.

In 2019, Weatherford was voted the Safest City in Oklahoma and several big infrastructure projects have made it an even better place to live and invest for the future: the $25 million, 93,000-square-foot Pioneer Cellular Event Center was recently completed; Main Street has been revitalized; and Interstate 40’s exits are undergoing a $10 million reconfiguration. Additionally, nearly 100 wind turbines provide electrical power, making up the second-largest wind farm in Oklahoma. A small park next to City Hall showcases one of the turbine’s blades, plus some new features like a Route 66 porch, SWOSU Bulldogs and Friends Dog Park, and a playground. It will soon have a Vietnam War memorial wall.

Weatherford’s proximity to Oklahoma City means that additional big-city attractions like professional sports, world-class shopping and restaurants, and vibrant nightlife are just one hour away.

Weatherford is served primarily by Will Rogers World Airport (OKC), and is also located in close proximity to the larger cities of Tulsa, Okla. (159 miles), Wichita, Kan. (168 miles), Plano, Texas (207 miles), and Dallas, Texas (218 miles).

For more information, visit and


About the Regional University System of Oklahoma

As the largest four-year university system in the state, the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) governs six of the state’s universities, and these institutions enroll more than 37,000 students each year.

Eight governor-appointed members of the Board of Regents and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction govern RUSO, whose mission is to provide higher education programs for Oklahoma universities and service to eligible students in the university service areas in preparation for success in a global society.

RUSO Universities include East Central University, Northeastern State University, Northwestern Oklahoma, State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and University of Central Oklahoma.

RUSO institutions beat the national average in affordability and have a significant positive impact on Oklahoma’s economy. An estimated 92% of RUSO graduates stay in the state, and Oklahoma taxpayers will earn $8.38 for
every $1 invested in a RUSO student.


Additional Information

The Regional University System of Oklahoma has retained Higher Education Leadership Search to assist with this search. Review of complete applications received by December 6, 2020 will be assured full consideration. To apply for this position please click on the Apply link below and complete the application process.

Bill Meehan, Ed.D. and Alan Medders, Ph.D. will be assisting the University with the search. If you have questions or would like to have a confidential conversation about the position or reasonable accommodations to participate in the application process, call 256-239-2305 or e-mail: and

Southwestern Oklahoma State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and specifically invites applications from women, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities. Candidates for this position will be considered through December 6, 2020.


To nominate someone for this position, e-mail:


To view the complete position profile click here.

Apply for the SWOSU President's position here.

Find the SWOSU Presidential Search Timeline here.

Find the SWOSU Presidential Search Committee List here.  






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