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ADA – The Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) Board of Regents has begun the search for the next president of East Central University after accepting the resignation of ECU President Dr. Katricia G. Pierson. Pierson will assume the presidency of Crowder College (Missouri) on January 1, 2022.

“We wish Dr. Pierson well and appreciate her dedication to East Central University for the past 10 years (serving as president since 2017),” said Connie Reilly, RUSO regent chair. “We will conduct a thorough national search to find the best candidate who is experienced in the particular strengths and opportunities at ECU. RUSO is optimistic that our search will result in a candidate who is well-positioned to lead the university into the future.”

The current ECU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Jeffrey K. Gibson, has been appointed by the board as interim president. Gibson has been at ECU since 2020 and will assume presidential duties. Gibson has brought a significant academic and administrative experience to ECU. A tenured professor in English at Wesley College (Dover, Delaware) since 2005, he also held the position of Associate Dean of Curriculum & Program Development and directed the college’s Honors Program before being named Provost there in 2015.

Founded in 1909, East Central University is a public university located in Ada, Oklahoma offering bachelor’s and master’s degree in Ada and online. For more information about ECU, please visit

ABOUT RUSO: The Regional University System of Oklahoma governs the six regional universities: East Central University, Northeastern State University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma. It was created on July 6, 1948. For more information about the Regional University System of Oklahoma and its graduates, please visit


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