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Dr. Duane C. Anderson, provost and vice president for academic affairs at East Central University, was named interim president of the university Friday [DEC. 5] by the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma.

His appointment will become effective upon the departure of Dr. Richard Rafes, ECU's president since July 2006. Rafes is stepping down to become president of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, W.Va.

"We plan to begin the search for a new president as soon as possible. Dr. Anderson has an outstanding record at ECU and we have every confidence the university will be in great hands under his leadership," said Dr. Joe Anna Hibler, chair of the RUSO Board of Regents.

"I am honored," Anderson said, "to have been selected and look forward to the opportunities ahead. I plan on working closely with faculty, staff and students in furthering the university's academic mission."

Anderson, the longest-serving chief academic officer in Oklahoma, has been ECU's vice president for academic affairs since 1994 and provost since 2006. He came to ECU in 1990 as associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the School of Graduate Studies. He also teaches British history.

His major accomplishments at ECU include leading the effort to infuse computer technology in the teaching and learning process, chairing the faculty committee that revised the general education curriculum in 1996, developing the institution's strategic planning efforts, strengthening and highlighting the importance of graduate programming, establishing an external funding program and overseeing the expansion of external funding success.

Anderson has overseen the incorporation of service learning into the curriculum and helped establish various campus-wide programs to retain students and encourage student success.

In addition, the percentage of faculty at ECU holding doctorates has increased from 55 percent to 70 percent under Anderson's leadership.

He previously was director of continuing education at Mesa State College, Grand Junction, Colo., from 1986 to 1990, and held several positions, including dean of community services, at El Reno Junior College from 1975 to 1986.

He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of North Dakota and a doctorate in history from the University of Oklahoma.

Anderson's wife Marian is director of the Academic Advising Center at ECU. They have three children and three grandchildren.

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