Oklahoma Baptist University

Colman Named OBU Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. James P. Colman has been named senior vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Baptist University, announced OBU President Mark Brister on March 14.

Colman, who has served in administrative and faculty roles at Cedarville University since 1989, will move to OBU's chief academic officer position on Aug. 1. He will replace Dr. Joseph R. Weaver, who will retire July 31. Weaver has served as senior vice president since 1996. He has served on the OBU staff since 1988.

Since 1996, Colman has served as director of strategic planning at Cedarville, a Baptist institution with approximately 3,000 students, located in Cedarville, Ohio. The university is a fellow member with OBU in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an international organization of evangelical higher education institutions.

As director of strategic planning, Colman is responsible for developing the institution's annual planning documents, working with all campus divisions. He also serves as chairman of Cedarville's department of music, which has experienced a 25 percent growth in enrollment over the past five years.

"Our committee was impressed by Dr. Colman's experience and success in strategic planning, and his track record as a team-building leader," said Dr. Dan Reeder, dean of OBU's School of Business and functioning chair of the senior vice president search committee. "As we look to the future for Christian higher education, and OBU's opportunities to excel, we are pleased to have a candidate with such key experience."

Colman said he looks forward to joining a university that is seeking to build on a reputation for success.

"OBU has a widely known reputation for quality academics and that, paired with its commitment to the integration of faith and learning, make it a very desirable place to serve," he said. "There is a strong desire on campus to move forward and progress as an institution."

"Dr. Colman brings rich administrative and teaching experiences to the post of senior vice president," said Dr. Brister. "He is committed to the mission of Christian higher education, and has a vision for expanding the impact OBU can make in the lives of students.

"He also has demonstrated ability as a consensus builder, and he can help our faculty continue to excel. He is joining a team that has gained national recognition for academic excellence, and he can help us continue on that path," Brister added.

In addition to his strategic planning and academic administrative work, Colman has chaired Cedarville's futures committee since 1996. He also has served on the university's respected technology planning committee.

"He has been a leader in helping Cedarville chart a course for continued growth and effectiveness," said Brister. "The university has a strong reputation for being a leader in Christian higher education. Jim has played an active role in that work. He has the opportunity to provide such leadership at OBU, and carry forward the positive work already under way on Bison Hill." Colman completed his Ph.D. and master of music degrees from Michigan State University. He earned a bachelor of science in music education from Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.

Colman joined Cedarville in 1989 as an assistant professor of music, and was promoted to associate professor in 1995, then full professor in 2001. He has taught courses in music theory, music technology, and piano.

Active in CCCU leadership opportunities, Colman participated in the council's Leadership Development Institute in 2000-01, completing a program of skill analysis and development.

Colman has served on the music staff of Far Hills Community Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Dayton, Ohio, since 1998. He and his wife, Becky, have two children, Kristin, 14, and Michael, 12.

OBU, founded in 1910, offers nine bachelor's degrees, with 77 fields of study. The university also offers a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. In 2003, U.S. News & World Report ranked as one of the top two comprehensive colleges in the western part of the nation. It marked the 11th consecutive year for OBU to be rated as one of the top 10 colleges in the West by the national news magazine. OBU's fall 2002 enrollment of 1,851 included students from 40 states and 22 other countries.

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