University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced today that award-winning educator and author Kyle Harper has been named senior vice provost for OU’s Norman campus, effective Jan. 1. Boren made the announcement at the December meeting of the OU Board of Regents.
“Dr. Harper will assume the duties as senior vice provost as an additional activity,” Boren said. “His primary responsibility will continue to be teaching and serving as director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage. He will assist the provost on a part-time basis on major, new academic initiatives, including working with the President’s Task Force on comprehensive curriculum review and delivery methods for first-year classes and as a liaison to the new working group on digital technology.”
Harper, a faculty member in OU’s Department of Classics and Letters, also serves as director of OU’s Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, which last year launched the university’s successful Teach-In series on constitutionalism, drawing an audience of thousands throughout the daylong, annual event. The Teach-In also was broadcast on OETA and posted on iTunesU, where it has been downloaded by tens of thousands of viewers to date from Belgium to Bulgaria and Kazakhstan to Korea.
He recently created and introduced “Freedom.ou.edu,” an OU website featuring a weekly series of short lectures on constitutional law and constitutional history, making civic education available to anyone any time. The website provides content produced by the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, a program founded in 2009 to emphasize the teaching of constitutional foundations as part of the college curriculum. With more than 30 faculty from across the university, the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage offers an unparalleled range of courses on constitutional history. The program is designed to enhance civic education – on campus and beyond. Freedom.ou.edu was conceived as a way to share the resources of OU with the public.
Harper, who earned a bachelor of arts degree in letters summa cum laude from OU and master’s and doctoral degrees in history from Harvard University, teaches a range of courses on Greek and Roman history, early Christianity, late antiquity and ancient law. For his exceptional teaching, he was awarded the Irene Rothbaum Outstanding Faculty Award in 2011.
He was recently named recipient of the prestigious James Henry Breasted Prize by the American Historical Association for his book, Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275-425, published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. The honor marked the second award this year for the book. Harper earlier was presented the Classical Association of the Middle West and South’s Outstanding Publication Award for the same book. His next book, From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Ethics in Late Antiquity, is due to appear from Harvard University Press in the spring of 2013.
Harper, whose research languages include Ancient Greek, Latin, Italian, German, French and Arabic, is a prolific writer and highly sought lecturer.