Leadership Changes Announced at OU-Tulsa
The University of Oklahoma announced the resignation of OU-Tulsa President John H. Schumann, who has accepted a clinical position at Oak Street Health. His resignation is effective July 30.
“Though we are sad to lose him, President Schumann’s return to the health care field further illustrates his commitment to OU’s fundamental purpose of changing lives,” said OU President Joseph Harroz, Jr. “We’ve benefited these past six years from his leadership at OU-Tulsa, and we’re incredibly thankful for impact he has had.”
Schumann has served as OU-Tulsa president since January 2015. Under his leadership, the campus launched several new programs including computer science, social work, information science and technology, and more, as well as initiatives like the Presidential Research Series, Tulsa community engagement programs and Haruv USA.
Committed to building a more welcoming and inclusive campus, Schumann hired the inaugural OU-Tulsa director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in 2018. Since then, the programming has continued to grow and has consistently been involved with the Tulsa Regional Chamber Mosaic, Pride Parade, MLK Parade, Discussions on Diversity and of late, the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.
In 2017, he assisted in the establishment of the Office of Community Engagement to create an infrastructure that supports and advances community engagement across colleges, departments and programs.
Schumann was instrumental in the creation of the Tulsa Higher Education Consortium, an educational resource working in collaboration with the community to increase awareness of higher education opportunities throughout Tulsa. Most recently, in partnership with President Larry Rice at Rogers State University, Schumann announced an agreement that will host RSU students at OU-Tulsa to complete their undergraduate degrees through RSU without having to leave Tulsa, all the while positioning them to move into master’s programs at OU-Tulsa.
Throughout his more than six years as president of OU-Tulsa, research expenditures for Norman-based programs increased from $277,000 to $2.8 million.
“It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as the president of OU-Tulsa,” said Schumann. “The students, faculty and staff at OU-Tulsa truly showed the ‘Sooner Spirit’ every day even during a global pandemic that touched all of our lives. I am proud of what we have accomplished at this outstanding institution, and I know that the great work here will continue.”
James J. Sluss Jr., Ph.D.
In addition, the university announced the appointment of James J. Sluss, Jr. as the acting president of OU-Tulsa effective Aug. 2. Sluss currently serves as the associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the OU-Tulsa Graduate College where he is responsible for working with the Norman associate deans on the OU-Tulsa campus in budgeting, forecasting, program planning and growth and faculty affairs.
“Jim Sluss is the ideal person to lead OU-Tulsa throughout this important transition,” said Harroz. “His familiarity with the campus, its history, and his long-served tenure at the university will serve us well as we formalize a distinct strategic plan for OU-Tulsa.”
Prior to assuming his current administrative duties on the OU-Tulsa campus, he was the director of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, leading the school through a period of historic growth. More recently, he served as senior associate dean for the Gallogly College of Engineering where he led research administration, faculty development and graduate education.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to lead OU-Tulsa as we begin this next chapter,” said Sluss. “Since 1957, OU has been in the Tulsa community and I will work hard to ensure we continue to grow and we increase opportunities for students to achieve their educational goals, faculty to teach and conduct impactful research and for all of us to continue to serve our community.”
He earned his bachelor of science in physics from Marshall University, and his masters and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia.
Article Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2021