Enid News & Eagle
After serving 10 years as Northern Oklahoma College president, Cheryl Evans will retire June 30.
NOC made the announcement in an emailed new release Friday evening.
“After much reflection over the winter break, I determined that the timing is right for my personal life and the life of this historic 120-year-old college,” Evans said. “In the back of my mind, I’ve always felt like 10 years in this role would be enough time to accomplish many goals, but hopefully not enough time to wear out my welcome, as the average length of tenure for a college president is about six years.
“I did hesitate this fall as I was initially unsure if I should follow through with my intentions because of the pandemic, but I am comfortable now as NOC has established effective pandemic plan protocols and has found a workable path through this unique time in history,” she said.
Prior to her position at NOC, Evans served 17 years at Northwestern Oklahoma State University as an instructor and chair of the communication department on the Alva campus then led the NWOSU-Enid campus.
“I was thrilled to begin work at NOC on June 1, 2011, and it has been a privilege to serve as the NOC president, and I was honored to be the first female president in the college’s history,” she said. “I am a better person for having worked at NOC and having some small part in the school’s accomplishments. NOC has certainly been a life-changing experience for me, and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.”
During Evans’ time as president, NOC has:
• Recently undergone a multi-year project with the implementation of the enterprise resource planning system. This student information system is on track to be fully operational by the end of this academic year and the new operating software will provide a powerful tool for students and better data for employees to make more informed decisions in the future.
• Been reaccredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, reaccredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission for its associate degree program in Nursing, and reaccredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs for its associate degree program in business.
• Increased grant activity. Most significantly was the $1.75 million award for the Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions Program, which concludes in Sepwtember. NOC’s application identified a variety of activities through three main initiatives, including improved online instruction with Quality Matters training, course certification initiatives and creation of the Cultural Engagement Center.
• Received national recognition over the past decade being identified in the top 10% of community colleges in the nation four times by the Aspen Institute in Washington D.C.
• Experienced growth in the number of associate degrees earned.
• Supported extensive capital outlay for improvement of infrastructure and facilities, including renovation and restoration of NOC’s first structure, Central Hall, which was built in 1901 on the Tonkawa campus. NOC also built new residence halls, Mavericks Hall in Tonkawa and Jets Hall in Enid, and built the new NOC Stillwater classroom building on Oklahoma State University’s campus.
• Encouraged private and public partnerships, including the Enel Wind Energy partnership and the Autry Technology Respiratory Care program. NOC also has long-term relationships with NWOSU with the Bridge Program and with OSU in the NOC/OSU Gateway program. Both of these programs help NOC students successfully transfer to baccalaureate programs.
• Experienced growth in financial net assets and scholarship awards in the Northern Oklahoma College Foundation. Net assets grew from approximately $5.5 million in 2011 to more than $12 million in 2020. Annual private scholarships have increased from just more than $99,000 awarded to 201 students in 2011-12 to $245,123 awarded to 395 recipients last year.
Evans received a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from Northwestern. She finished her Master of Arts in communication at Wichita State University and her doctorate in education at Oklahoma State University. Evans is the 13th president since NOC was founded in 1901.
In retirement, she plans to help her husband Tom’s expanding business interests and serve nonprofit organizations, as well as spending time her grandchildren, family and friends. They plan to split time at their rural home in Alfalfa County and in Tulsa to be near their grandchildren.
“Dr. Evans’ leadership and guidance for the past 10 years has been impeccable. While Dr. Evans has served as Northern Oklahoma College’s 13th president, NOC has been designated in the top 10% of community colleges in the nation, has reached a record number of earned associate degrees, and has enhanced all three campus locations through many building renovations,” said Jodi Cline, chair of the Northern Oklahoma College Board of Regents. “During this pandemic, we have witnessed her passion for making sure the students, faculty and staff’s health and well-being were always at the forefront of every decision.”
The NOC Board of Regents will approve Evans’ resignation at the Jan. 25 board meeting on the Tonkawa campus. The board will launch a national search for her replacement.