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Dr. Kent Buchanan named Oklahoma City University provost, engineering degree partnership announced

Provost Kent Buchanan. Photo provided
Provost Kent Buchanan. Carl Shortt Photography

Staff Report

OKLAHOMA CITY – Kent Buchanan, Ph.D., has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma City University, President Robert Henry announced on December 16.

Buchanan has served in the role on an interim basis since July 2015. His appointment follows a national search and a recommendation from the university’s search committee. The committee, chaired by Associate Dean Melanie Shelley, reviewed more than 20 applicants out of 70 that were reviewed by the university’s search firm.

“Kent has broad-based experience that will serve Oklahoma City University well in his position as provost,” Henry said. “I am pleased to welcome him to the permanent role.”

“The search committee feels that Dr. Buchanan has a strong and demonstrated commitment to Oklahoma City University and its future success,” Shelley added.

Buchanan said he is looking forward to the work ahead.

“Oklahoma City University has a rich tradition of providing a personalized educational experience for students and preparing them to become effective leaders in service to their communities,” he said. “I am excited about this opportunity and I look forward to furthering our mission of scholarship and service, and working with the entire campus community to continue building a bright future for the university.”

Buchanan began his career at Oklahoma City University in 2006. He has served as chair of the biology department at OKCU and as assistant provost.

Prior to his career at OKCU, Buchanan served as an assistant and associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. He has also been an educator and biomedical researcher at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in microbiology from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Buchanan is active in the Oklahoma City community and has served on the Board of Trustees at Science Museum Oklahoma since 2009 and on the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma School of Science and Math since 2010.

Oklahoma City University is a coeducational, urban private university affiliated with the United Methodist Church, offering a wide variety of degrees in the liberal arts, fine arts, sciences and business. The only Oklahoma institution listed in the top tier of the regional, master’s-level university category by U.S. News & World Report, OKCU offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and more than 20 graduate degrees. Find out more at

In other news from Oklahoma City University, the institution will introduce a dual degree program partnership with Washington University in St. Louis for students interested in pursuing careers in engineering. The program will begin in the Fall 2017 semester.

Students will complete three years of a liberal arts foundation and rigorous science and math coursework here in Oklahoma City, followed by two years of engineering coursework in the area of their choosing at Washington University in St. Louis. Once finished, the students will earn two undergraduate degrees — a bachelor of science in pre-engineering studies from Oklahoma City and a bachelor of science in engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

Stephen Prilliman, OKCU’s Pre-Engineering Program liaison, said the engineering degree partnership is the only program of its kind in Oklahoma.

“This partnership between two prestigious schools will prepare students for exciting careers in one of the most popular STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields,” Prilliman said. “Engineers are not only paid well, but are also in demand.”

Students may specialize in one of four different areas of engineering study — biomedical, chemical and environmental, electrical or mechanical.

“This partnership brings together strengths from both universities to train liberally educated engineers, OKCU for a liberal arts education and Washington University in St. Louis for engineering,” Prilliman added.

Scholarship opportunities are available to those who qualify.

More information about the program and scholarship opportunities can be found at, or contact Prilliman at 405-208-5087 or [email protected].

Oklahoma City University. Photo provide.
Oklahoma City University. Photo provided.

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