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OCU announces new provost


Oklahoma City University President Kenneth Evans has named Michelle Kiec as the school’s new provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

Kiec currently serves as interim vice provost for Extended and Lifelong Learning and dean of graduate studies at Kutztown University, in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. She has served various roles at Kutztown since 2012, including acting dean of the College of Education and dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Her experience at Kutztown includes leadership for programs related to certificates, accelerated degrees, embedded certifications, study abroad, workforce training, articulation agreements, graduate education and adult learning, all within traditional, hybrid and online learning formats. She also oversees the offices of career development, graduate admissions, and the university library.

“Michelle’s broad base of experience, notably in the spaces of online and non-traditional learning, is an ideal fit for the various enrollment initiatives now underway at OCU,” Evans said. “We look forward to welcoming Michelle to campus and to continuing the momentum we’ve built.”

Kiec (pronounced “kick”) holds master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in clarinet from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University. She earned a pair of undergraduate degrees from the University at Buffalo – bachelor of music in music performance and bachelor of arts in German.

“I look forward to joining the OCU family and the Oklahoma City community,” Kiec said. “I know I’ll feel right at home in OCU’s performing arts culture, but I’m also excited to be able to play a role in supporting and advancing all of the university’s academic areas.”

Kiec maintains an active research and creative agenda as a clarinetist, and advocates for newly composed classical music, a role she puts into practice as she performs chamber music in various ensembles. She is a frequent conference presenter on topics including leadership planning and collaboration, student success programming, curriculum design and faculty development. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, trail running and traveling abroad.

Kiec assumes the provost role from interim Provost Helen Gaudin, who has served in that role since July 1, 2021. The role had previously been filled on an interim basis since 2019, so Kiec will become the university’s first permanent provost and vice president of Academic Affairs in nearly three years.

Evans said the campus community is grateful for Gaudin’s service, especially as she has led the university through the ongoing Higher Learning Commission re-accreditation process.

Kiec is slated to begin her new role at OCU on July 5.

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