OSU-Tulsa President Pamela Fry announces retirement
Monday, July 19, 2021
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Oklahoma State University-Tulsa President Pamela Fry has announced plans to retire on Jan. 3 after 20 years of service to OSU, with the last five at OSU-Tulsa.
The decision is related to a family member’s illness and her last day in office will be early September. OSU President Kayse Shrum is expected to announce plans for OSU-Tulsa’s leadership transition soon.
Fry became OSU-Tulsa’s third president on July 1, 2019, after serving as provost since 2017. Her tenure at OSU-Tulsa has resulted in strengthened academic ties between the Tulsa and Stillwater campuses, new programs focused on meeting the needs of Tulsa’s economy and an emphasis on serving the north Tulsa community where the OSU-Tulsa campus is located.
“I consider my time at OSU-Tulsa to be the highlight of my career,” Fry said. “We have created a new vision for OSU-Tulsa to serve as a premier research university for Tulsa, increased enrollments, added new degree programs, generated a record amount of fundraising for scholarships, established new centers to better serve the community and created groundbreaking initiatives. None of this would have been possible without the support and enthusiasm of the OSU-Tulsa community, our neighbors in the Greenwood District, the City of Tulsa and the OSU System. I know our work will continue with these dedicated and passionate partners.”
Initiatives during Fry’s tenure have focused on increasing the number of adults with bachelor’s degrees in the Tulsa area. College Park, a four-year university experience in partnership with Tulsa Community College, provides access to bachelor’s degrees for students who do not have access to a traditional four-year university. The newly established OSU College of Professional Studies will offer degree programs specifically designed for adults who have some college credit and want to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Fry has also been vocal about OSU-Tulsa’s responsibility to its neighbors in the Greenwood District, creating a Campus-Neighborhood Collaborative to facilitate communication with community representatives and investing in community engagement staff and initiatives. Under Fry, OSU-Tulsa also organized 100 Points of Truth and Transformation, in partnership with OSU-Stillwater and OSU Center for Health Sciences, to commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The initiative has offered conferences, film screenings, author talks, book clubs, classes, podcasts, writing workshops, art exhibitions and community healing rituals designed to educate and inspire.
“For more than 20 years Dr. Fry has been a key member of our academic leadership team at OSU,” Shrum said. “Her leadership both on the Stillwater campus and in particular our Tulsa campus these last few years has been vital to our success. I wish her all the best in her much-deserved retirement.”
Before joining OSU in 2001, Fry served 12 years as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Oklahoma. She has held higher-education leadership positions at OSU and OU, serving at the levels of program chair, school head, associate dean, dean, associate vice president, vice provost, interim provost, vice president and provost. During most of her term as provost and vice president for academic affairs she split her time between Stillwater and Tulsa while also serving as vice provost for the Stillwater campus.
She served six years as dean of the OSU College of Education and three years as the head of the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership. She also served as OSU's interim provost from 2013-2014.
She holds a bachelor’s degree with highest honors from OU, a master’s degree from OSU in applied behavioral studies and a doctorate in curriculum and supervision.