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OBU Board of Trustees Elects New President, Approves Staff Council During Nov. 8 Meeting

November 11, 2019

The Oklahoma Baptist University Board of Trustees elected a new OBU president, approved a new staff council, approved new faculty contracts and elected new officers during their fall semester meeting on the OBU campus in Shawnee Nov. 8.

Dr. Heath Thomas was elected to serve as OBU’s 16th president beginning in January 2020. Dr. Thomas currently serves at OBU as dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, associate vice president for church relations, Floyd K. Clark Chair of Christian Leadership, professor of Old Testament and interim dean of the Divisions of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Language and Literature.

Dr. C. Pat Taylor has served as interim president since Feb. 8, 2019, and will continue his service through the end of 2019. Stephen Allen, chair of OBU’s Board of Trustees and senior vice president, general counsel and assistant secretary for ONEOK, thanked Dr. Taylor for his service to OBU.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Taylor for his outstanding leadership as our interim president. His passion and love for OBU is extremely evident and his wisdom and years of presidential experience were a huge asset to the University,”

A recommendation for the formation of a new staff council was approved. The Staff Council will represent staff interests and viewpoints regarding issues and concerns at the University by promoting internal communication between and among employee groups, providing input to the executive cabinet, serving on committees and task forces, and encouraging unity among employees.

Changes to the academic calendar were approved, moving commencement from Fridays to Saturdays beginning in December 2020.

Trustees approved new faculty contracts for Dr. Hephzibah Dutt, assistant professor of theatre, director of theatre; Christi Ann McGahan, instructor of journalism and mass communication; and Christoper Steven Cox, instructor of physical education and baseball coach.

Board officers for 2020 were approved. They include Jeff Moore, chair; Danna Humphries, vice chair; James Wilder, secretary; and Owen Nease, treasurer.

Stephen Allen, chair of OBU's Board of Trustees, moderated the board's plenary session.