University of Oklahoma - Director, OU Polytechnic Institute

OK, Norman

The University of Oklahoma (OU) seeks a forward-looking, creative, entrepreneurial and collaborative leader deeply committed to innovation in education and preparing STEM students for lifelong learning to serve as the inaugural director of a newly envisioned OU Polytechnic Institute at its Tulsa campus. This is a once-in-a-career opportunity for a STEM leader to build and realize the vision of a 21st Century polytechnic institute that will have a transformative impact on the teaching of innovation and advanced technology, the future of its students and the prosperity of the State of Oklahoma. Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited.

The University of Oklahoma is embarking on a transformational endeavor to further strengthen the educational landscape of the state, provide students with a unique educational experience that will enable them to be successful throughout their careers and respond to industry’s need for a diverse, well educated, highly skilled and highly adaptable workforce to meet current and future needs. Its new polytechnic institute in Tulsa will offer bachelor’s completion and graduate degree programs focused on innovation and advanced technology to meet growing demands in areas including telehealth, autonomous technology, electric vehicles, applications in cybersecurity, robotics and automation, data analytics and technology applications, artificial intelligence and applications, cloud computing, social media development, user experience design and applications, augmented and virtual reality, and software engineering. The purpose of this new institute is to meet the changing academic and workforce needs of the Tulsa region. The focus on applied knowledge will make the region a hub for growth and new jobs. OU will continue to build strong community and industry partnerships that will help keep the institute’s curriculum and degree programs highly relevant and on the cutting edge.

Reporting to the university’s provost for the Norman campus, the inaugural director is responsible for visioning, strategic planning, operations, finances, faculty affairs, academic and research programs, external relations, and fundraising in support of the institution’s aspirations. The inaugural director will provide leadership to develop and execute on the vision for the institute; recruit, develop and retain faculty; develop a leading-edge, innovative curriculum and innovative teaching practices; and engage a multitude of stakeholders and partners to develop strategic partnerships and cultivate financial support. The new director will support and nurture an environment of innovation where faculty, staff and students can thrive.

In achieving these objectives, the next inaugural director must be a collaborative leader who possesses the leadership skills, strategic capacity and innovative spirit to advance the institute. Additional essential qualifications include successful administrative experience in a university, industry or governmental environment; the communication and interpersonal skills to engage meaningfully with a broad range of highly invested stakeholders; deep intellectual curiosity to develop and support a diverse set of programs; a strong record of forging interdisciplinary partnerships and a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion. The inaugural director must possess the scholarly record required to merit a tenured appointment as a full professor with the University of Oklahoma.

The University of Oklahoma is a public, research-intensive university with campuses and facilities throughout Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, the University has a threefold mission of teaching, research and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Annual enrollment at its three campuses totals more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

A detailed leadership profile is available under the Related Documents section above.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile. WittKieffer is assisting the University of Oklahoma in this search. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal, via the links below.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Julia Bradley and Suzanne Teer at

The University of Oklahoma, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to:  admissions, employment, financial aid, housing, services in educational programs or activities, or health care services that the University operates or provides.