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James Pappas, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Liberal Studies

Dean James Pappas

Dr. James Pappas serves as Vice President for University Outreach; Dean of the College of Liberal Studies; and Professor, Departments of Educational Psychology and Liberal Studies, University of Oklahoma (OU). He received a doctorate in clinical psychology from Purdue University, a master's degree from Ohio University, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah. In addition, he has completed the Executive Management Program at Stanford University and the Institute for the Management of Lifelong Education at Harvard University.

Prior to coming to the University of Oklahoma, he served as Associate Dean of Liberal Education, Associate Dean of the Division of Continuing Education, Professor of Educational Psychology, Director of Academic Counseling, and Director of Independent Study at the University of Utah. He also has worked as a psychologist with the Veterans Administration, a faculty member at Indiana University, and an assessment officer with the Peace Corps. Dr. Pappas has consulted with such organizations as the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation Services, Utah State Prisons, Wyoming School Districts, American College Testing Program, Skaggs/American Foods, Butler Buildings, Bosworth-Sullivan, Kennecott Copper, Lockheed Martin, National Association for Homecare, and Hermes Associates (a mall developer). In addition, he has served on numerous community service and professional association boards, including the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), Association of Continuing Higher Education (ACHE), University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), and Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP). He has served as President of UPCEA and AGLSP and is currently Executive Vice President of ACHE.

Dr. Pappas has responsibility for a continuing education enterprise with a $100 million annual budget, including many major grant and contract activities. Among these are a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to administer the five-state Southwest Regional Comprehensive Center, the National Resource Center for Youth Services, a five-state substance abuse prevention program, the Economic Development Institute, management training for numerous businesses and industries, and supervisory and executive training for the Postal Service. In addition, he oversees a program of academic outreach for OU that serves more than 200,000 participants, offers 400 to 600 conferences and institutes, registers 55,000 credit enrollments, provides 13 adult degree programs, offers more than 1,000 courses at a distance and online, and includes a Kellogg Conference Center. University Outreach also offers six master’s degrees to 5,000 students annually at armed forces bases in the United States and Europe.

As Dean of the College of Liberal Studies, he administers a nontraditional, interdisciplinary academic college which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal studies with self-designed, administrative leadership, health care, and museum studies emphases that mature students can complete in online, independent study, and seminar formats.

Dr. Pappas has delivered more than 100 professional presentations and addresses and has written numerous articles in adult education, counseling, and administration. He served as co-editor of Windows of Opportunity: Preparing University-based Residential Continuing Education for the Twenty-first Century and has contributed chapters on strategic marketing planning and environmental psychology to several New Directions in Continuing Education volumes. He has edited and co-edited the monographs The University’s Role in Economic Development: from Research to Outreach, Developing and Delivering Adult Degree Programs, and Meeting Adult Learner Needs Through the Nontraditional Doctoral Degree.