RSU Selects Macpherson as First Norman Endowed Chair

Rogers State University has named Dr. Peter Macpherson as the John W. Norman Endowed Chair in Business Information Technology, the first faculty member to be named as an endowed faculty chair holder in the university’s history.

Macpherson’s selection for the endowed chair position was approved by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents – RSU’s governing board – during its meeting today in Ardmore.

Macpherson, who joined the RSU faculty in 2001, is a professor in the Department of Applied Technology.

The purpose of establishing an endowed chair is to attract and retain highly credentialed faculty members to RSU. During the five-month search process, the selection committee received applications from across the U.S. and Canada for the Norman endowed chair. 

“Filling Rogers State University’s first endowed chair is a significant moment in the university’s history,” said President Dr. Joe Wiley. “And I believe the fact that a national search showed the best qualified candidate was already on our campus reflects very well on the quality of our faculty.”

Wiley expressed the university’s gratitude to the donors who provided funding for the chair honoring John W. Norman, a well-known Oklahoma City trial attorney. The Norman endowed chair was initiated by a $166,000 anonymous gift to the RSU Foundation, with other gifts and pledges providing the $250,000 necessary to qualify for a matching grant from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Endowment Trust Fund.

Norman has enjoyed a long career as a successful trial lawyer in Oklahoma City and has participated in several high-profile legal cases. He received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma, where he was editor of the OU Law Review. He has served in several high-ranking positions with the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and is past-president of the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association.

Macpherson received a doctoral degree and master’s degree in computer science from Lehigh University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Pennsylvania State University. His academic specialties include bioinformatics, parallel algorithms, networks, modeling, programming languages and decision theory.

In his capacity as the Norman endowed chair, Macpherson will focus on expanding the university’s new game development degree program, recruiting high-caliber technology students to campus and engaging in more scholarly research.

Macpherson’s appointment as the Norman endowed chair will enhance the experience of students within the applied technology department, as well as further the university’s academic reputation, said Dr. Bruce Garrison, dean of RSU’s School of Business and Technology, which included the university’s Department of Applied Technology and the Department of Business.

The university is engaged in a Campaign for Endowed Chairs, a major capital fundraising campaign to raise $5 million to establish 10 endowed faculty chairs at the university. A total of $2.5 million in private funds will be raised, matched by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Endowment Trust Fund.

In addition to the Norman endowed chair, three other endowed faculty chairs have been established at RSU including the Kunz Endowed Chair in Communications, the Sarkeys Endowed Chair in Business Information Technology and the Oliver Dewey Mayor Endowed Chair for an endowed faculty position at RSU’s campus in Pryor.