NOC president placed on administrative leave

November 17, 2023 | Featured|Headlines

STILLWATER—  Following an executive session during the Northern Oklahoma College Board of Regents meeting on Nov. 15 in Stillwater, the Board unanimously voted to approve the retirement letter of NOC president Dr. Clark Harris, effective Jan. 2.

Until that time, Harris has been placed on paid administrative leave and Diana Watkins, current Vice president for Academic Affairs, is tentatively named ranking administrator officer effective immediately.

“President Harris has accomplished many good things during his two years at NOC. On behalf of the Board of Regents and the entire NOC community, we wish him well during his retirement,” said Chair Brad Fox. Harris was named NOC’s 14th president in 2021. (see story)

Dr. Clark Harris

 In other business, regents approved the FY 2023 external audit report, as presented by Kirk Vanderslice with Hinkle & Company. Vanderslice reported that the audit went smoothly and that there were no findings for current or prior year. He reported a clean, unmodified opinion on the overall audit as well as with internal controls and with compliance. 

The college’s statement of net position as of June 30 was $13,312,285 or down nine percent from June 30, 2022, primarily due to net pension and OPEB liability as a result of a drop in investments related to the obligations.

   The 2023 Annual Safety and Fire Report for Tonkawa and Enid was approved by the Board as presented by Jason Johnson, Vice president for Student Affairs. The Disc Golf Course at NOC Enid proposal was tabled by the Board as recommended by Jeremy Hise, Vice president for NOC Enid.

  NOC’s financial report, prepared by Vice president for Financial Affairs Anita Simpson was approved as presented for October. 

Regents approved purchases of $25,000 including: Floor Beam Replacement – Easterling Residence Hall West Side Restroom Facilities – Rick Scott Construction $35,212; Platform Stair Lift – Making A Difference Building – Enid – Access Elevator $62,250; Wrestling Mats – Tonkawa – Fix Enterprises/Resilite Sports Products, Inc. $36,544.50; Boiler – Kinzer Performing Arts Center – Federal Corporation $29,937.40; Boiler – Harold Hall – Federal Corporation $44,708.46; and Library Databases – Tonkawa, Enid and Stillwater – ProQuest $27,420.57.

  Vice president for NOC Stillwater Dr. Marsh Howard announced that 200 higher education professionals from across the country met for the Department of Education’s Raise the Bar: Attaining College Excellence and Equity conference to discuss improving college students’ ability to transfer from one college to another. 

Groundbreaking new data was presented showing the most productive transfer partnerships between community college and bachelors’ degree institutions in the country. Northern Oklahoma College’s Gateway Program, which provides a relatively seamless transition for students transferring to Oklahoma State University, was highlighted as Oklahoma’s best partnership for promoting transfer students’ graduation. 

  Howard commented, “The outcomes confirm what we’ve known for some time, NOC’s efforts to provide life changing educational experiences is paying off. For two decades, NOC and OSU have worked together to ensure a successful transition and this research establishes that we’re delivering. NOC students transferring to OSU have the highest graduation rates of any community college transfer in the state.”

The next meeting will be held at 2 p.m. in Tonkawa on Dec. 13.