The inauguration of Dr. Katricia Pierson as East Central University’s ninth president is set for Friday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m. in the Ataloa Theatre of ECU’s Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.
The event is open to the public.
Pierson was named ECU president on Feb. 19, 2017 and took over the duties on March 1.
Welcome and introductions will be made by Dr. Adrianna Lancaster, ECU acting provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
Greetings to President Pierson will be provided by Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, distinguished alum, 1995; Stacy Shepherd, executive officer of Member Services of the Choctaw Nation; Oklahoma State System of Higher Education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson and Regional University System of Oklahoma Regent Connie Reilly.
Also providing greetings will be Dr. Willie Hughes, vice president of the ECU Alumni Association; Dr. Michael Scott, president of the ECU Faculty Senate; Gina Smith, president of the ECU Staff Council and Gavin Burl, president of the ECU Student Senate.
Delegates include: Steve Turner, president of Northeastern State University; Jim and Shirley Dicus, University of Oklahoma alums; Don Betz, president of the University of Central Oklahoma; Janet Cunningham, president of Northwestern Oklahoma State University; Randy L. Beutler, president of Southwestern Oklahoma State University; John McArthur, president of Cameron University; Sean Burrage, president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University; Larry Rice, president of Rogers State University; Mark Rasor, vice president of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College; Jack Bryant, president of Redlands Community College; Steven Bloomberg, executive vice president of Oklahoma City Community College and Lana Reynolds, president of Seminole State College.
Pierson had served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at ECU since 2015 after joining the university as assistant vice president for Academic Affairs in 2011.
With experience in both independent and public universities, Pierson has served as a full-time faculty member for 15 years and has held administrative positions for 10 years. Her administrative work also included serving as the associate dean and division chair of science and humanities at William Woods University.
Pierson’s beliefs have clearly lined up with the mission of ECU in being student-centered. She has implemented changes to connect with students and faculty to resources that help faculty teach and students succeed.
She has established a retention office which grew into a student success center, automated end-of-course surveys with 100 percent being completed online, moved a paper-based enrollment process to an online process, and most recently, implemented an online degree audit.
Pierson has experience working with international universities and has developed articulation agreements for a variety of programs.
She is actively involved with federal and state agencies and currently served on the Council of Presidents. Pierson served on the Council for Instruction of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) as well as on the OSRHE two standing committees, admission and retention, and assessment. She also served as ECU’s liaison for the OSRHE Course Equivalency Project.
Additionally, Pierson has served on the steering committee of the Missouri Department of Higher Education’s curriculum alignment and assessment initiative and she co-chaired the English Discipline Subcommittee for the Curriculum Alignment Initiative.
In addition to the state-level work she has completed, Pierson is a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and has chaired one to two site visits per year.
Pierson earned both her doctorate and master’s degrees in English from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and received her bachelor’s degree in English, journalism and secondary education from the University of Wyoming.
She has participated in several professional development programs, including the Development of Department and Division Chairs Workshop and the Chief Academic Officers and Chief Financial Officers Institute sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges. She most recently completed the “Becoming a Provost Academy” with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Pierson, a proud member of the Choctaw Nation, is married to Michael Pierson and they have one daughter, Mera. Katricia Pierson has two sons, Zacharye and Gabriel, and a daughter-in-law, Robin, of Fayetteville, Arkansas.