D23: Lead


D23 success is dependent upon every person at Northeastern State University. Every interaction with students matters and the cumulative effect creates a profound and positive impact. Success will come from a shared responsibility approach with appointed champions to lead the initiatives outlined in D23. The President and his Executive Cabinet bear the primary burden of ensuring the advancement of D23. Two key “champions” of D23 are the Assistant Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs and for Student Affairs. These individuals are tasked with utilizing university committees, task forces, and colleges and departments to advance and institutionalize D23 into daily operations.

Our overarching commitment is to foster a campus environment where each individual is empowered to act in the spirit of “I care, therefore I will…” We strive for a university culture that fosters a caring and supportive environment to maximize teaching and learning. Each university division is charged with making positive contributions to the university culture, fulfilling the university’s mission, and aiding in achieving the goals of D23.

Academic Affairs

NSU’s Academic Affairs division consists of the College of Business and Technology, College of Education, College of Liberal Arts, Gregg Wadley College of Science and Health Professions, Oklahoma College of Optometry, College of Extended Learning, and the College of Graduate Studies. In addition to the colleges, Academic Affairs includes several support units including the John Vaughan Libraries, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Institutional Effectiveness, the Center for Tribal Studies, the Office of International Programs, Student Academic Success Center and the Registrar’s office. The mission of Academic Affairs is to create and maintain a supportive learning environment that promotes the university’s academic endeavors in undergraduate, graduate,

The unit supports student learning through excellence in teaching, faculty scholarly activity, and service to students, the university, and our communities. Academic Affairs is committed to providing the highest quality undergraduate and graduate education in the state and region, and achieving national and international prominence in the professional optometry program. Additionally, we are committed to embedding student support in NSU’s classrooms and to providing appropriate campus resources to our students who need help.

The heart of Academic Affairs and the key to student enrollment, retention and success, are the quality programs and outstanding faculty in each undergraduate college and the Graduate College. Research (e.g. Tinto, and others) indicates that students’ interactions with faculty and engagement with courses have a lasting impact on the scope and pattern of student departures. By offering and marketing relevant programs which are taught by faculty who demonstrate their interest and caring for students, NSU’s colleges play a critical role in reaching the D23 goals.

NSU Libraries support student learning and faculty instruction by providing research materials and electronic access to information tailored to curriculum, and in consultation with teaching faculty. The Libraries assist the faculty in the goal of providing our students with intellectual skills such as critical and reflective thinking, knowledge acquisition, integration and application, and in developing an appreciation for life-long learning.

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has a primary responsibility for advancing faculty knowledge of pedagogy in order to maximize the opportunity for every student to reach his/her learning potential. CTL will accomplish this by providing professional development activities, training in instructional techniques, assistance with technology tools and overseeing course evaluation processes. CTL will support faculty so that students will meet high academic standards.

The College of Extended Learning (CEL) is the umbrella organization for academic and continuing education programs targeting returning adult learners, community development, and professional certifications. CEL serves as a “delivery agent” for colleges offering online degree programs, assisting in development and promotion of these programs. As a key component of CEL, the Continuing Education department (CE) is dedicated to promoting the university mission of empowering individuals to become socially responsible global citizens by creating and sustaining a culture of learning and discovery. This is accomplished by offering a variety of customized, high quality, noncredit courses, in an engaging learning environment. Our programs are designed to meet the needs of all students and the communities we serve.

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness will be called upon to provide evidence that speaks to program quality and student learning as they relate to the D23 goals. The office facilitates the generation, compilation, interpretation, and distribution of institutional data to enhance decision making. Its services include administering various surveys and inventories, collecting the annual OSRHE assessment reports and coordinating program area assessments with standardized tests.

Finally, the Registrar’s office will provide the entire campus community with enrollment, retention, and graduation data including headcounts, credit hour production, degree production, and any other data points needed to fully evaluate our efforts related to D23 goals. The office plays a critical role in sharing data used in academic program prioritization, baseline enrollment and projection processes, and in completing all appropriate state and federal reporting requirements to ensure that the university remains compliant with state and federal regulations.

Academic Affairs supports the D23 Plan in the following ways:

  • Providing students excellent learning opportunities through the selection and support of qualified, committed and caring faculty.
  • Utilizing Academic Program Prioritization as a catalyst for maintaining and developing foundation and signature academic programs.
  • Establishing academic program baseline enrollment standards and projected growth goals.
  • Establishing and embracing retention goals that are set for each college and department at NSU.
  • Enhancing and leveraging the effectiveness of remediation efforts by investigating, evaluating, and implementing curricular models such as corequisite models, supplemental instruction, and bridge courses.
  • Supporting student retention by providing tutoring, counseling, and advising support through the Student Academic Success Center (SASC) and the Indigenous Scholar Development Center.
  • Expanding the online delivery of academic programs by embracing and utilizing available and advanced technologies.
  • Implementing immersive learning principles that includes community-based projects guided by faculty mentors; we believe that effective learning occurs when the student is “immersed” in the material being studied--so involved that the topic becomes compelling all on its own.

Business and Finance

The Business and Finance Division consists of Budget and Planning, Business Affairs (Accounting, Accounts Payable, Bursar & Student Accounts Receivable, ID Services, Payroll, Purchasing, and Scholarships), Grants Administration, Information Technology Services, and Process Improvement. The division supports the instruction, research, and public service missions of the university by providing sound financial, business, and technical services to students, faculty and staff. Business and Finance is committed to eliminating bureaucratic roadblocks. Through a “culture of caring,” students are better able to focus on academic and cultural pursuits.

The Business and Finance Division supports the D23 Plan in the following ways:

  • Providing excellent customer service to our students, giving them a positive experience when managing their financial obligations, and interacting with and using technology in the classroom.
  • Supporting the use of technology in instruction and student support services by providing dependable and secure infrastructure and technical support services.
  • Allowing faculty to maximize their focus on classroom instruction by providing effective and efficient business services.
  • Ensuring a sound financial position for the university, minimizing student costs and ensuring that limited resources are supporting the strategic plan of the university.
  • Identifying and implementing cost containment and cost avoidance strategies.

Development and Alumni Services

The Development and Alumni Services Division oversees donor development, fundraising and alumni cultivation.  Led by the director of development, this office employs the staff who carry out the day-to-day activities of both the NSU Foundation and NSU Alumni Association. This includes management of the alumni and donor database, planning, coordination, and execution of all NSU fundraising efforts, including the comprehensive campaign, annual fund campaign, and employee giving campaign, stewardship of constituents, event planning, membership fulfillment, communications and accounting for both the Foundation and Alumni Association.

The NSU Foundation is a separate, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, wholly independent from the university, but existing solely to support the university. Its function is to acquire, manage and distribute financial resources supporting university scholarship, capital and endowed fund needs. These financial resources are acquired from private sources including, but not limited to, alumni, private and family foundations, corporations and employees and friends of the university. The Foundation’s assets, consisting of these private contributions, are managed through investments overseen by a volunteer board of trustees made up of invested alumni not otherwise associated with the university. NSU’s director of development serves as the NSU Foundation’s executive director.

The NSU Alumni Association is an interdependent organization operating in conjunction with the university but self-funded entirely through third-party revenue sources including membership dues, corporate support and event and merchandise receipts. The Alumni Association’s purpose is to cultivate student and alumni interest, engagement and investment in the university. The Alumni Association achieves this through paid membership enrollment, programming, communication and events designed to keep alumni connected with the university and with each other. The Alumni Association’s operations are overseen by an independent, volunteer board of directors comprised of a diverse group of engaged alumni. The university’s director of alumni services serves as the Alumni Association’s executive director.

Development and Alumni Services, under the auspices of the NSU Foundation and the NSU Alumni Association, supports the D23 Plan in the following ways:

  • Easing the financial burden of students through the acquisition and distribution of scholarship support, allowing students to focus more on academic excellence and career preparation and less on funding their college education
  • Promoting student development, research and other real-world immersive learning opportunities through the acquisition of discretionary and in-kind support resources
  • Acquiring capital funding resources for the construction and renovation of facilities that attract and retain students
  • Recruiting and engaging alumni to participate in local recruiting efforts and general community-based awareness efforts through collaborations with the offices of Admissions and Recruitment and Communications and Marketing
  • Developing programs and services and supporting other efforts which provide meaningful interactions between students and alumni through collaborations with Career Services, colleges and faculty, illustrating a pathway to successful career opportunities


The Operations Division is comprised of Auxiliary Services, General Counsel, Human Resources, Public Safety and Emergency Management, and Facilities Management. The Operations Division is committed to supporting and enhancing the strategic initiatives defined through the development of NSU Destination 2023 Goals and Objectives.

The Operations Division supports the D23 plan in the following ways:

  • Providing an environment conducive to quality co-curricular, extracurricular and support services that elevate the learning and teaching environment, research and scholarly activity, a holistic student experience and local community relationships.
  • Ensuring an optimal residential community experience.
  • Maintaining a safe and secure campus.
  • Fostering a culture of respect, collaboration and performance among faculty, staff and students.
  • Investing in and maintaining facilities that enable customer-driven programs and services.

Public Relations and Marketing

The Public Relations and Marketing Division consists of Government Relations and Communications & Marketing. The division provides to each division in the university the full range of government and community relations services and marketing and communications services including strategic marketing planning, graphic design, copywriting, photography, video services, and media relations services. The Public Relations & Marketing Division will be the conduit for information to be widely distributed concerning the details of D23.

The Public Relations & Marketing Division supports the D23 plan in the following ways:

  • Working with key partners to develop and implement annual strategic communication and marketing plans to increase the number of applications for admittance.
  • Working with key partners to develop and implement annual strategic communication and marketing plans to increase retention and graduation.
  • Working with the cabinet to develop a communication plan for internal audiences to encourage an understanding of the D23 goals and their specific role in achieving those goals; the plan will include survey methods to gauge attitudes and awareness of D23 to shape messages and methods.
  • Informing public officials, the business community, and the broader general public of key messages that reflect common values and reinforce the overall goals of D23; these messages include: the public and private benefit of higher education, accountability (inherent in performance funding), efficiencies and cost savings, workforce-focused programs, affordability, return on investment, faculty productivity, and community support.
  • Utilizing appropriate social media and other online resources and electronic platforms to reach potential students and encourage graduation and retention of existing students; this will be done while maintaining the appropriate level of non-digital communication techniques.
  • Leveraging resources to maximize enrollment.

Student Affairs

The Student Affairs Division encompasses Admissions and Recruitment, Career Services, Student Activities, Student Counseling Services (Hawk Reach Services), Student Disability Services, Student Financial Services, Student Health Services, University Advising Center, Educational Talent Search, and the Student Support Services.

Student Affairs is committed to contributing to NSU’s achievement of D23 in the following ways:

  • Continuously improving Student Affairs services and programs to meet student needs.
  • Working collaboratively with university departments to maximize prospective student recruitment.
  • Strategically enhancing student services to assist students in overcoming obstacles in order to achieve education goals.
  • Fostering a dynamic environment for students to personally grow through co-curricular experiences.
  • Providing support for returning adult students to meet their educational goals.
  • Supporting veterans to facilitate a seamless transition from their military services to enrollment in higher education.
  • Centralizing academic advising resources for students by adopting a university-wide academic advising approach, Dual-Shared Advising, that provides consistent academic advising and support resources.
  • Partnering with university constituents to ensure students have a seamless, positive experience in achieving their academic goals.
  • Implementing relevant components of “first year experience” best practices to enhance opportunities for success for transfer students and first-time freshmen students.