Northern Oklahoma College has seen many changes during President Cheryl Evans’ tenure.
Among the most visible has been a construction program affecting all of the college’s campuses. But, many of the other changes have come in less visible ways. Regardless, Evans’ legacy will long be remembered — well past her retirement June 30. She made the announcement recently that she would retire, ending 10 years as NOC’s first female president and 13th overall.
“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,” Evans said in her retirement announcement.
During Evans’ time as president, NOC has:
• 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.
• 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.
Before becoming NOC president, 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.
The NOC Board of Regents will approve Evans’ resignation at its Jan. 25 board meeting. The board will launch a national search for her replacement.
In retirement, she plans to help her husband Tom’s expanding business interests and serve nonprofit organizations, as well as spending time with her family and friends. They plan to split time at their rural home in Alfalfa County and in Tulsa to be near their grandchildren.
We want to congratulate Evans for her impressive career and wish her well in retirement.