OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City University Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Rick Hall has announced his retirement after a 14-year career with the university and 40 years in higher education administration.
Dr. Liz Donnelly, OCU’s associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, has been named acting vice president effective July 1. OCU President Robert Henry said the university will conduct a national search for the position.
Henry called Hall a legend in the field of student affairs. “Rick is known for his strong commitment to students and his exceptional ability to cultivate servant leaders,” Henry said. “He has made a tremendous impact on OCU and in the lives of our students.”
In addition to his administrative role, Hall co-taught “Insights Into Executive Leadership” for five years, bringing local, state and national leaders together with students to explore civic and educational issues. He also founded OCULeads, the President’s Leadership Class for incoming freshmen who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential. The program has produced more than 300 student leaders.
Hall joined the OCU administration in 2001 as vice president for enrollment management. A year later, he assumed responsibility for both student affairs and enrollment management, a position he held until 2006 when student affairs became its own department. Hall has led the department since that time. Prior to his career at OCU, Hall served as vice president for student affairs and dean of students for the University of Oklahoma.
Henry noted that Hall established many new initiatives during his tenure at OCU. He introduced the Clara Luper Scholarship program and American Indian Scholars program to expand access to quality higher education among academically accomplished and community service-oriented students from under-represented areas. He revitalized the Student Government Association, led the redevelopment of the McDaniel University Center, enhanced first-year experience activities for freshmen and oversaw the transformation of the university’s security department to a full police force.
Many of the programs created under Hall’s leadership were the first of their kind at OCU. He created the first multicultural student affairs office and the first university center programming office. Hall also initiated the development and construction of the university’s newest dormitory, United Methodist Hall, and Aduddell Fitness Center, along with revamping OCU’s recreation services.
Hall said he is fortunate to be surrounded by a great team of faculty, staff and students.
“Many people invested themselves into our projects and I could not have done it without them,” he said.
Hall said his advisory roles with the Student Government Association and various student groups have been extremely rewarding.
“The greatest gifts of all have been the students and all of the people at OCU,” he said.