September 20, 2007
With one graduate program under way and a second in the works, Oklahoma Baptist University has named its first dean of graduate programs.
Marian Combs, who has directed the university’s graduate programs since June 2006, was recently promoted to dean of OBU’s International Graduate School.
“As we proceed with plans to expand our graduate offerings, it is appropriate to have the point person for that effort serving at the dean’s level,” said Dr. Debbie Blue, OBU senior vice president for academic affairs. “Marian has provided energetic leadership for our new presence in downtown Oklahoma City and we are confident that she can offer strong guidance as we structure new graduate programs.”
OBU started its first cohort for a master of business administration degree program in February, and a second cohort began in August. The graduate program offices and classrooms are in the Momentum Building, at 111 N. Harrison. The building is in the Triangle District, which is the focus of a renewal effort by local developers.
In addition to the MBA degree program, OBU is seeking accrediting association approval for a master of science degree program in nursing. The courses would be offered in the Oklahoma City facilities, which are in close proximity to the research corridor and medical centers on the east side of downtown.
Combs joined the OBU administrative team in June 2006 as director of the MBA program. She was promoted to director of graduate programs last September. She is responsible for implementation of the graduate courses at the Oklahoma City building, as well as marketing and communication for the program. She was instrumental in locating the Momentum Building site for the center.
Serving as dean, Combs is a member of OBU’s dean’s council, which includes the heads of the university’s five schools and colleges, the dean of students, the dean of library services, and the dean of enrollment management.
Combs completed a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1984, and earned an M.B.A. degree from the university in 1986. Prior to joining the OBU staff, she taught courses at Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, Ariz. She also has taught courses at Northern Arizona University and the University of Oklahoma. In addition, she is a partner in Howard Hampton Properties, which includes ranching and oil and gas interests in Texas and Oklahoma.
With an undergraduate enrollment of about 1,600, OBU has focused largely on liberal arts education throughout its 97-year history. OBU entered the graduate education market in metropolitan area this year with the Oklahoma City-based International Graduate School. University officials opted for the IGS name because international study components are required for the MBA degree program and are included in the proposed nursing program, also.
Combs said pending approval from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, OBU will launch the nursing graduate program in 2008.