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OU Dedicates James P. Pappas Administration Building

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James P. Pappas, former OU vice president for university outreach


NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma today dedicated the James P. Pappas University Outreach Administration Building located at 1700 Asp Ave. The building is named in honor of former OU Vice President for University Outreach, Dean of the College of Liberal Studies and Professor in the departments of Educational Psychology and Liberal Studies, James Pappas, who retired in Jan. 2017 after almost 30 years of service to the university.

“The naming of the Administration Building at the Oklahoma Center for Continuing Education recognizes the lasting contribution of Jim Pappas as the leader of OU’s educational outreach programs,” said OU President David L. Boren. “His positive influence will be felt for years to come.”

As Vice President for University Outreach, Pappas strengthened the university outreach effort, overseeing programs that serve more than 100,000 participants, have 55,000 credit enrollments and provide 1,000 distance and online courses.

He administered University Outreach Advanced Programs, which during his tenure provided degree programs to more than 50 military bases throughout the world, resulting in the graduation of more than 5,000 master’s and doctoral students who are servicemen and women. Online programs developed under his leadership for active duty military and veterans and also for place-bound and economically-challenged individuals have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top three in the nation.

To date, Pappas is the longest-serving dean in the history of the university, having arrived to OU in 1987. As Dean of the College of Liberal Studies, now the College of Professional and Continuing Studies, he administered a stand-alone academic college that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal studies with administrative leadership, criminal justice, human and health care, world cultural studies, integrated studies and museum emphases that students can complete in online, on-site and in blended formats.

Pappas was responsible for quadrupling the total number of student enrollments in University Outreach programs, more than tripling the amount of grant funding received and increasing rankings and recognition of the college on a national level.

Pappas has been active in professional associations and has served in leadership roles in many adult and continuing education organizations. He previously served as President of the University Professional Continuing Education Association; President of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies programs; Chair of the Continuing Education, Extension and Engagement Council of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities; Executive Director of the Association for Continuing Higher Education; and Executive Director of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.

Under University Outreach, OU’s College of Continuing Education provides learning opportunities and community services to the state, region and nation. Through its comprehensive, multifaceted services and programs, OCCE offers noncredit courses, seminars, workshops, conferences, public service activities, training and travel study programs. The services available through continuing education provide diverse, high-quality and challenging learning experiences.

The OCCE complex includes the James P. Pappas Administration Building, Pete Kyle McCarter Hall, and Boomer Outreach Building, all of which house administrative offices for both OU Outreach and the College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

To learn more about University Outreach, visit


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