OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) dean David Lowry will return to his “first love” as a communication professor this fall.
Lowry has served as dean since 2005, first for OC’s College of Arts and Sciences, then for the College of Liberal Arts after the university expanded to five academic divisions in 2014.
Professor of Music John Fletcher will serve as interim dean during the search for the college’s new leader.
“I’m thankful for the colleagues and students that have blessed my life during my 12 years serving as dean. It’s been an honor,” Lowry said. “My passion for teaching has driven my professional life for four decades, and I look forward to working more with students and tackling the new challenges ahead as a professor.”
Lowry first taught at Oklahoma Christian from 1980 to 1985, helping launch the popular radio station KOCC-FM in addition to his classroom work. He went on to serve as an award-winning professor at Pepperdine University for 20 years before returning to OC.
Highlights of his tenure as dean include the upcoming launch of a new criminal justice major and the development of OC’s gaming and animation program into one of the best in the nation.
“Liberal Arts is the heart of an exceptional undergraduate experience. Dr. Lowry’s leadership has been a season of growth at OC and an era of high achievement by the faculty and students of the college’s many disciplines,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Even as Dr. Lowry moves into this new role, I will continue to seek his counsel because he is a highly-experienced academic leader who is known for his commitment to learning assessment and academic success.”
An expert in accreditation practices, Lowry co-chaired the university’s Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee, which successfully earned OC its reaffirmation of accreditation.
“I appreciate Dr. Lowry’s assistance in the university’s visit by the Higher Learning Commission,” said Lee Anne Paris, associate dean for academic affairs and director of institutional effectiveness. “His years of experience serving as an HLC reviewer made him an invaluable resource as Oklahoma Christian prepared for our comprehensive evaluation visit last year.”
OC’s College of Liberal Arts houses the departments of Art and Design, Communication, Education, History and Political Science, Language and Literature, Music, Physical Education, and Psychology and Family Studies.
Along with the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Liberal Arts hosts the majority of OC’s general education curriculum offered to make graduates stronger lifelong learners, deeper critical thinkers and more effective communicators.
LaMascus said Fletcher will begin working with Lowry immediately to create a smooth and seamless transition. Fletcher, a 1982 Oklahoma Christian graduate, joined the faculty at his alma mater in 1987.
“John Fletcher is a beloved teacher and OC legend in his own right,” LaMascus said. “He has served in many roles – professor, band conductor, Department of Music chair, and Faculty Association president – just to name a few. He also twice authored the department’s accreditation self-studies with the National Association of Schools of Music. OC will be in great hands during this transition.”
Dr. Jeff McCormack, dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences, will chair the search committee for the new Liberal Arts dean. The university will begin accepting applications soon.
“We anticipate having an internal candidate search only,” LaMascus said. “We have many wonderful leaders in the Liberal Arts, so I’m confident this college is ready to raise up one of its own who is respected as a scholar, cherished as an excellent teacher, and proven as a leader, too.”