OBU trustees approve faculty contracts, discuss upcoming academic reorganization

The Shawnee News-Star
OBU Board of Trustees Chair Sam Garlow leads the trustee meeting on the OBU campus March 5.

The Oklahoma Baptist University Board of Trustees gathered for the spring semester meeting Friday, March 5, on the OBU campus in Shawnee. Trustees approved recommendations for senior faculty status and faculty contracts and continued their review of academic reorganization plans for 2021-22.

Trustee meeting dates for 2022 were approved following a recommendation from the executive committee chaired by Shawnee businessman Sam Garlow. They are March 3-4, 2022; May 5-6, 2022; and Nov. 3-4, 2022.

From the academic services committee, chaired by Dr. Eric Costanzo, senior pastor, South Tulsa Baptist Church, the Board of Trustees approved the recommendation for senior faculty status for Dr. Jonathan Callis, assistant professor of English. Recommendations are made based on evaluations from senior faculty, the academic unit, 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 81 faculty members were approved for the 2021-22 academic year following a recommendation from the academic services committee.

Trustees reviewed the reorganization plan for the 2021-22 academic year. The plan will become effective June 1 and is the culmination of a nearly two-year process, involving collaboration among university administration, deans, division chairs and faculty members. The new organization structure includes: the Warren M. Angell School of Visual and Performing Arts, which will continue to house music, art and communication; the Herschel H. Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry; the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences; the Division of Language and Literature; the School of Nursing; the Paul Dickinson School of Business; the School of Education; the Division of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation; and the James E. Hurley Division of Science and Mathematics. Ten academic chairs will oversee these areas and report to one of two deans: the Dean of Theology, Art and Humanities and the Dean of Business, Health Science and Education.

OBU Trustee Ben Stewart brought forward a motion that was unanimously approved to commend Tonia Kellogg for her profound and professional contribution to Oklahoma Baptist University. Kellogg recently departed the University and her role as director of the executive offices after 30 years of service.

“We hereby express our sincere appreciation for Tonia’s selfless and excellent service to OBU and specifically to this board of trustees,” Stewart said. “Tonia’s dedicated career at her alma mater spanned an impressive period of 30 years. Her institutional knowledge, attention to detail, and calm spirit will be missed and remembered long after her commendable career at the university.”

Trustees approved the appointment of Angela Williams, executive assistant to the president, as the new assistant secretary of the board of trustees to replace Kellogg who previously served in that capacity.