During their spring semester meeting Friday, Feb. 8, Oklahoma Baptist University trustees approved a recommendation to employ former Southwest Baptist University President Dr. C. Pat Taylor as OBU’s interim president. Trustees also approved members of a presidential search committee who will begin search activities to replace Dr. David Whitlock who retired as OBU president Jan. 8 and currently serves as OBU chancellor through May 31. Taylor will begin work at OBU Feb. 18.

“I have known Pat Taylor for over 30 years,” said Dr. Hance Dilbeck, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “He is a man of integrity, and a man of prayer. He offers wisdom from a lifetime of experience to help our university in this time of transition. I view his willingness to help as an answer to prayer.”

Taylor retired from SBU Aug. 31, 2018, after nearly 22 years as the university’s president. Prior to becoming president of SBU, Taylor served as chief academic officer at OBU for 10 years. As senior vice president and provost, Taylor was responsible for OBU's academics, student development, admissions, religious life, library services and athletics from 1986 to 1996.

He previously served as associate vice president for academic affairs at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, from 1979-86. From 1975-79, he was an assistant professor of education at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. While at Belmont, he served as head resident of Pembroke Hall, a men’s dormitory housing 150 men. His experiences also have included community college and high school teaching and coaching.

A native of Salem, Kentucky, Taylor received his Doctor of Education with emphasis in history and philosophy of education from then Memphis State University. He received a master’s degree in history from Western Kentucky University and a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from the University of Tennessee-Martin.

“We are delighted that Dr. Taylor has agreed to serve as OBU’s interim president,” said Steve Allen, chair of the OBU Board of Trustees. “He brings the experience, knowledge and credibility to lead the university and his love for OBU makes him the perfect interim while we seek God’s will in the search for the next president.”

OBU Trustees approved eight voting members to serve on the presidential search committee: Allen, LaVerne Dowding, Bryan Gilbert, Danna Humphreys, Jeff Moore, Owen Nease, Scott Neighbors and Ben Stewart. Ex officio, non-voting members of the search committee include: faculty representative Dr. Bret Roark, chair-elect of the OBU faculty council, professor of psychology and chair of behavioral and social sciences; alumni representative Jami Smith; student body representative Clayton Myers, president of the Student Government Association; and BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer Dilbeck.

OBU’s Board of Trustees consists of 30 members elected by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

For more information about OBU, visit www.okbu.edu.

With its campus located in Shawnee, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and five master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 2,011, with students from 37 states and 40 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 27 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 25 consecutive years. OBU is one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma university listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. The Wall Street Journal ranks OBU second in the nation for student engagement among all U.S. colleges and universities. Forbes.com consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 14 consecutive years.