Dr. Stan Norman, provost and executive vice president of campus life, will soon be departing Oklahoma Baptist University after nine years of service. He will be assuming the presidency of Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, effective April 2, 2018.
Norman came to OBU in 2009, having served two years at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri as vice president for university relations. He previously served on the faculty of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for eight years, as an associate professor of theology and the Cooperative Program Chair for Southern Baptist studies. He joined NOBTS as an assistant professor in 1998.
A native of Durant, Oklahoma, Norman completed a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1997. He earned a Master of Divinity from the seminary in 1990. He completed a bachelor's degree in biblical studies from The Criswell College in 1987, after completing two years of undergraduate work at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Norman says while he is excited to lead Williams Baptist University, he will miss his OBU family and has been blessed by his time on Bison Hill.
“My time at Oklahoma Baptist University has been one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of my life,” he said. “I have been privileged to be a part God’s great blessings upon this university. I have learned much about Christian higher education, and I pray that God was able to use my service and contributions in some way to advance the mission of OBU. We will undoubtedly miss daily interactions with dear friends and trusted colleagues. Joy and I will always desire that God’s favor would rest upon this great school, and we will continue to pray for Dr. Whitlock, his administrative team, the faculty, the staff and the students. God bless OBU!”
Dr. David W. Whitlock, OBU president, is excited for Norman, but will miss his colleague and the impact he has made on Bison Hill.
“Dr. Norman is well suited for service as president of Williams Baptist University and will bring to their community a rich background of experience including his former roles as professor, vice president of development, and his current role as provost and executive vice president for campus life at OBU. Stan loves the Lord and will be a tireless advocate for Williams and the Eagle family. And the Williams community is going to love Joy as their First Lady. Joy Norman is one of the smartest, kindest, and most hospitable people I’ve known.”
Dr. Anthony Jordan, retiring executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, had similar words of praise for Norman.
“Dr. Stan Norman is one of the most prepared people I know to assume the presidency of a university,” Jordan said. “While saddened that OBU will lose his considerable experience and expertise, I am very excited for Dr. and Mrs. Norman as they assume the leadership of Williams Baptist University. I have no doubt WBU is about to experience some of their greatest days. I wish Dr. and Mrs. Norman God’s richest blessings as they begin this new journey in serving our Lord and Southern Baptists in Arkansas.”
Dr. Hance Dilbeck, newly appointed BGCO executive director-treasurer, also expressed his sentiments on the work Norman has accomplished at OBU.
“Dr. Norman has invested uncounted hours in our University,” he said. “I greatly appreciate him and pray the Lord’s richest blessings in this new work.”
The Board of Trustees at WBU saw in Norman all of the characteristics they were seeking in their next president.
“Dr. Norman quickly rose to the top in our search process. He is very impressive,” said J.R. Cox, chair of the Williams Board of Trustees. “His experience and the wonderful demeanor we saw in him and his wife, Joy, are an ideal fit for our university. We are delighted to welcome them to Williams.”
Williams announced in September that it would transition from Williams Baptist College to Williams Baptist University. School officials say that transition will be completed this summer. WBU is a four-year, Christian, liberal arts college. It has more than 25 majors and pre-professional programs to prepare students for a wide array of career options, and it is ranked in the top tier of southern colleges and universities by U.S. News and World Report. Williams is owned and operated by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.