Joe Wiley, president of Rogers State University, has received the John L. Blackburn Award for Exemplary Administrative Leadership from the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA) for his role during RSU’s transition from a two-year to afour-year institution.
“This is the most prestigious award given by the AAUA – the nation’s largest and most respected organization of university administrators,” said Larry Minks, RSU’s assistant vice president for academic affairs – instruction.
Each year, the AAUA presents Exemplary Models of Administrative Leadership Awards, which recognize “outstanding examples of academic leadership that demonstrate creative solutions to common issues in higher education. “Recipients are selected from proposals submitted by legislative bodies, accrediting agencies and educational institutions across the nation.
The Blackburn Award is the top award given by the AAUA, presented to the proposal judged best overall among all proposals submitted for the awards.
“This is the single highest honor given to a university administrator in the nation,” Minks said.
The award will be presented to Wiley at the AAUA National Assembly on June 20-23 in Boston.
The award recognizes Wiley’s leadership and oversight of RSU during its transition from a community college to a regional university.
RSU was accredited as a four-year institution in August 2000 by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, only 16 months after the university began its transition and Wiley became president.
During that period, the university adopted a new mission statement and a new organizational structure for all academic and administrative functions. The institution was re-organized into three academic schools, including six academic departments, that offered five new bachelor’s degrees with several degree options. Dozens of new faculty and staff members were hired and a variety of new student services were implemented.
In addition, the university developed and implemented a campus-wide strategic planning process, a program assessment and review plan and a variety of policies and procedures. A master plan to build a university-wide technology infrastructure to make current and emerging technology available for all educational functions was put in place. And a campus master plan was implemented that included renovation of existing facilities, construction of new academic and residential buildings and preventative maintenance.
Enrollment during this period surged at a rate more than three times the state average. During the most recent semester, full-time equivalency enrollment at RSU increased by 23 percent – more than any other college or university in Oklahoma.
The university also established its first three endowed faculty chairs since Wiley became president.
“The accomplishments during this period were monumental and national recognition underscores their gravity and importance,” Minks said.
Previously, Wiley served as executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Okla., where he also was a professor and chairman of the computer science department.
He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in1979. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in computer science at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1981. He received a master’s degree from the University ofArkansas in 1974 and a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in1972.
He has traveled to China three times to serve as a technical consultant to the Oklahoma State Commission on Science and Technology. He has been selected four times as the recipient of the Kellogg Foundation Leadership Training Grant by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
Currently, he is a member of Oklahoma’s Council of Presidents, and serves as chairman of its Committee on Academic Affairs and Committee on Performance Funding. He is co-chair of the Oklahoma Statewide Task Force on Student Retention and a member of the Citizens Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Oklahoma and the Claremore Regional Hospital Board of Trustees.
In addition, he is a member of the Committee on the Undergraduate Experience for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
The AAUA was founded in 1970 in Buffalo, N.Y. Membership is open to administrators at any accredited college, university or other post-secondary organization, and includes presidents, deans, directors, department chairpersons and people working in a variety of administrative positions.