Skip area navigation

Trustees Approve Faculty Contracts, Senior Faculty Status March 4

March 6, 2022

The OBU Board of Trustees gathered for the spring semester meeting Friday, March 4, inside Stavros Hall on the OBU campus in Shawnee. Trustees approved faculty contracts for 2022-23 and approved recommendations for 11 faculty members to receive senior faculty status.

In his report to the board, OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas told trustees about OBU’s new Tom Elliff Center for Missions that launched in January and expressed appreciation for the donors who provided resources for the center.

“When we announced the launch of the Tom Elliff Center for Missions, OBU was immediately put on the national stage due to Dr. Elliff’s former tenure as president of the International Mission Board,” Thomas said. “The Elliff Center will coordinate with the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach to equip students to serve on GO trips as well as provide scholarships to students participating in the Elliff Center.”

Dr. Todd Fisher, executive director-treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists and a 1992 OBU graduate, provided his first report to OBU trustees on behalf of Oklahoma Baptists, saying the purpose of the convention is to serve the churches of Oklahoma, contribute to their health and support their pastors. He also expressed his enthusiasm about the launch of the Elliff Center and how it creates a pipeline for churches to send their students who are called to missions to OBU where they can be equipped for their callings to serve Christ in the world.

From the academic services committee, chaired by Dr. Eric Costanzo, senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church, the Board of Trustees approved the recommendation for senior faculty status for Dr. Antonio Chiareli, professor of sociology and intercultural studies; Benjamin Baxter, assistant professor of animation and media production and chair of communication arts; Dr. Camille Lafleur, assistant professor of marriage and family therapy; Dr. Daniel Spillman, associate professor of history and director of the honors program; Dr. Daryl Green, associate professor of business and Dickinson Chair of Business; Jaime Brantley, assistant professor of nursing; Joshua Brunet, assistant professor of art; Dr. Paul Donnelly, assistant professor of sociology and director of the criminal justice program; Dr. Rebecca “Marie” Farley, assistant professor of education; Dr. Robin Brothers, assistant professor of nursing, and Dr. Stephen Sims, assistant professor of music, worship leadership. Recommendations are made based on evaluations from senior faculty, the academic units and the deans in the areas of teaching effectiveness, professional development, service to the university, and Christian commitment and service as defined in the faculty handbook.

Full-time faculty contracts for 77 faculty members were approved for the 2022-23 academic year following a recommendation from the academic services committee. Costanzo also reported a 93% student retention rate from the fall 2021 semester to the spring 2022 semester, thanking faculty and staff for their work in helping students succeed.