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Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State’s Kirksey to be honored by national organization

Fri, March 10, 2017

A leader for diversity and inclusiveness at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Jason F. Kirksey, has been selected to receive a top honor from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).

Kirksey, who serves as vice president and chief diversity officer for the Division of Institutional Diversity at OSU, will receive the Frank W. Hale Jr. Distinguished Service Award at NADOHE’s annual conference set for March 13-15 in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes individuals who distinguish themselves in higher education with a robust record of consistent service for inclusive excellence; exercising innovative and courageous leadership and vision, and exemplifying the philosophy, principles and practices of NADOHE while contributing substantially to diversity and inclusive excellence.

“Dr. Kirksey has done an excellent job advancing Oklahoma State’s diversity and inclusion goals,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “We are fortunate to have an individual with his personal dedication and professional expertise—qualities which continue to distinguish him as an inspiration to his peers as well as his university family.”

“While I am honored and humbled by my selection as the recipient of this very prestigious national award, it is really the result of my good fortune in being surrounded by an exceptional team within the Division of Institutional Diversity and across the university, as well as the supportive leadership of President Hargis,” said Kirksey. “For nearly 25 years, OSU has offered me the opportunity to engage in significant and sustained diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused teaching, research, and administrative efforts in a supportive and encouraging environment, which has allowed me to contribute and partner with others toward real progress throughout the institution.“ 

Last year, NADOHE honored OSU as a model for diversity and inclusion leadership and accomplishments in higher education as the 2016 Institutional Excellence Award recipient. The organization’s president referred to OSU as one of higher education’s “exemplary” models for diversity and inclusion.

OSU is also one of eighteen institutions across the country that has been recognized nationally as a five-year recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The university was also nationally recognized in 2016 by Minority Access, Inc. with its Institution Committed to Diversity Award. Since 2014, OSU has been designated as a Minority Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education.

Kirksey started his career as an assistant professor in the OSU Department of Political Science in 1995, becoming the first African American tenure-track faculty at OSU to hold an endowed chair. He served as the Hannah D. Atkins Endowed Chair for Political Science and Government Information for 14 years, prior to being promoted to his current senior administrative position. He also served a four-year appointment as director of the OSU Center for Africana Studies. Kirksey currently holds the rank of associate professor of political science, and serves as the principal investigator for the $3.4 million Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP) Program grant, funded by the National Science Foundation, and the $1.1 million OK-LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate Program grant. Since 2014, Kirksey has served as the president of the Big 12 Chief Diversity Officers Consortium.

Kirksey holds bachelor’s degrees from OSU in political science and economics, a master’s degree in political science from OSU, and a doctorate from the University of New Orleans. He periodically teaches courses, and frequently guest lectures on his areas of specialization, which include minority politics with an emphasis on women, African Americans, Native Americans, and minority voting rights.

NADOHE serves as the preeminent voice for diversity officers in higher education. Its vision is to lead higher education towards inclusive excellence through institutional transformation. NADOHE currently has 200 institutional members and 220 individual members. For more information please visit

For more information, contact Dr. Jason Kirksey at (405) 744-9154.