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Ask a Provost 
Sponsor: University and College Division

Date: Wednesday, April 26
Time: 9:50-11:20 am
Location: Salon Q

Session Description:
Provosts in the Oklahoma higher education system will answer questions regarding their perceptions and their expectations of the role of the academic library in today's colleges and universities. The panel will answer some prepared questions and will take questions from the audience. Participating in the session will be Sylvia Burgess, Assoc. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Cameron University; Gary Sandefur, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Oklahoma State University; James South, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Southwestern Oklahoma State University; and Valerie Williams, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center.


David OberhelmanModerator: David D. Oberhelman is W. P. Wood Professor for Library Service at the Oklahoma State University Libraries where he has worked since 1997. He is subject liaison librarian to several humanities, social sciences, and performing arts departments, and has been a researcher and presenter on topics such as information literacy, digital humanities, and popular culture studies at the international, national, regional, and state levels

Sylvia BurgessDr. Sylvia Burgess currently serves as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Her responsibilities include oversight for the Cameron University Library, oversight and policy development for Distance Learning (includes online and ITV delivery and development), Adult and Continuing Education, which includes workshops, off-campus offerings, the Reach Higher Adult Degree Completion program and Interdisciplinary Studies degree program; Southwest Area Health Education Center; Upward Bound, Open Doors, the Honors Program, and the Presidential Leaders and University Scholars Program. Prior to assuming this position, Dr. Burgess served as Dean of the School of Business for 7 years, and as the campus Equal Opportunity Officer for 8 years. Burgess has taught Individual and Corporate Income Tax, Business Law, Employment Law, Legal Issues in Human Resource Management, Business Communications, Ethics and Tax Planning. In addition to her formal responsibilities over the years, she has provided annual training to faculty regarding legal developments in higher education, particularly in the areas of intellectual property and discrimination. She previously worked with the Cameron University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, and was named a Sam Walton Fellow. She has been named by the Cameron School of Business as a “Champion of Free Enterprise”, and was honored during the University Centennial for her contributions to entrepreneurship in 2009. In 2015, the School of Business at Cameron University honored Dr. Burgess by establishing an endowed award in her name, the Sylvia M. Burgess Service Award, to acknowledge students for extraordinary community engagement activities.

Gary SandefurGary Sandefur became Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma State University in July, 2014 after working for thirty years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Wisconsin, he served as Professor of Sociology and Dean of the College of Letters and Science, among other positions. Sandefur and his wife, Kathy, are natives of Oklahoma and were pleased to have the opportunity to return home.
Sandefur has published widely on issues at the intersection of population studies and public policy. His most cited work is a book with Sara McLanahan, Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps, published by Harvard University Press in 1994. His many articles and book chapters deal with a range of topics, especially American Indians, racial inequality, and family issues.
Sandefur’s awards include election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the William Goode and Otis Dudley Duncan awards from the American Sociological Association for Growing Up with a Single Parent. He was also awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching, the most prestigious teaching award at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
At Oklahoma State University, Sandefur works closely with colleagues to improve retention and graduation rates, and student success.

James SouthDr. James South has served since 2013 as Vice president of academic affairs at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford and Sayre. He also served as Dean of the SWOSU College of Arts & Sciences from 2012-13, Chair of the Department of Music from 2008-12 and director of bands from 1995-2011.
Dr. South began his higher education career as a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois at Champaign from 1988-1990 and then joined the faculty at Emporia State (KS) University, where he was assistant professor and director of bands/orchestras prior to coming to SWOSU. He has also taught in the Irving (TX) Independent School District and Northlake College in Irving. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Education from Northwestern University in Evanston (IL), as well as a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas.
South has been an invited guest conductor for over 40 state and regional honor and symphonic bands and was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Educators Hall of Fame in 2012. He has numerous publications and presentations and is a member of several music education associations. He has served as president of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association and president of the Southwest Division of the National Association for Music Education.

Valerie Williams, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center

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