The University of Oklahoma announced today the appointment of Martha Banz, Ph.D., as dean of the College of Professional and Continuing Studies, pending OU Board of Regents’ approval.
Banz has served as the college’s interim dean and associate provost for continuing education since 2017, providing administrative oversight for all aspects of the college’s work, both academic and operational. Previously, Banz served as the college’s associate dean, where she significantly expanded the college’s online degree offerings, nearly doubled its enrollment, and expanded total faculty corps to include more than 200 OU faculty and practice professionals from around the world.
A national search was conducted for the position, attracting several highly qualified applicants. The search committee – made up of nine members representing faculty from the colleges of Professional and Continuing Studies, Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Architecture; staff from admissions and recruitment; and students – held on-campus interviews for the two final candidates. The search solicited feedback from all College of Professional and Continuing Studies constituencies – faculty, staff and students – and from other college deans and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, who met with both finalists. Banz was the search committee’s unanimous choice and the preferred candidate of the combined College of Professional and Continuing Studies constituencies.
“Martha Banz is an outstanding leader who has strengthened the University’s degree offerings for nontraditional students, particularly for our military-affiliated students,” said OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. “These efforts align with the University’s goal to develop innovative approaches to learning, and we look forward to Dr. Banz’s continued oversight of these specialized programs.”
Under her leadership, the college has achieved a Top 10 U.S. News & World Report ranking for four consecutive years in multiple categories, including best online bachelor’s programs and best online programs for veterans.
In addition to her role as interim dean and associate provost, Banz also serves as executive director of the FAA Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance. She has co-led the work of 16 university and 45 industry partners involved in the R1/R2 consortium, which performs basic and applied research in support of workforce development in aviation and aerospace, specifically focusing on the technical training needs of pilots, air traffic controllers, safety inspectors and technicians.
“Dr. Banz has a consistent record of excellence,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Kyle Harper. “I’m confident she will continue leading the University in making an OU education accessible to individuals and organizations around the world.”
Prior to joining OU, Banz served in a number of administrative and academic positions at Southern Nazarene University, including professor of psychology, dean of Arts and Sciences, and vice provost of the Undergraduate College.
Banz is the past president of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, having also served as chair of the editorial board of its peer-reviewed journal, Confluence. She is regularly sought out as a program reviewer and consultant for institutions seeking to enhance their work in adult education, nontraditional, online and distance learning. Her current research focuses on the complex synergy between intentionality, habit formation and automaticity in leadership development.
Banz earned her bachelor of science in psychology from Bethany Nazarene College. She also attended OU, where she earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in quantitative psychology
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit www.ou.edu.