NOC names Watkins new president

May 23, 2024 | Featured|Headlines

ENID — The Northern Oklahoma College Board of Regents appointed Diana Watkins as the 15th president in NOC history on Wednesday, May 22, at the meeting in Enid.

The appointment is pending completion of administrative paperwork.

Watkins, who currently serves as the interim president and vice president for academic affairs, will officially start her tenure on June 1.

“The Board of Regents are excited that Diana has accepted the offer as the president of NOC,” said Chair Brad Fox. “We’d also like to relay our appreciation to the NOC faculty, staff, and community during the interview process.  We know that Diana and the NOC community have a great future ahead of us.”

Diana Watkins

Watkins said, “I am very grateful the Regents have entrusted me with the opportunity to serve the college in this capacity. Our tag line at NOC is Life Changing, and for me that is much more than just a catchy phrase on our materials. My father’s community college experience changed the trajectory of his life, and therefore of mine. I’m excited to work with our amazing staff, faculty, and executive council to more efficiently and effectively provide those Life Changing experiences for our students.” 

A graduate of Perry High School, she went on to earn an Honors Program Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English Education at Oklahoma State University where she also earned her Master’s Degree in Teaching Learning and Leadership and is currently a doctoral student in Higher Education and Student Affairs.

Watkins began her career in education teaching high school English in Ardmore. Her move to post-secondary education came in 2000 when she joined the Oklahoma State University Honors Program, now Honors College, as an academic counselor before spending four years as an “early childhood educator,” taking on the role of full-time mom until her daughter began pre-K. 

Watkins’s tenure at NOC began in the Language Arts Department on the Stillwater campus. In 2007 she was named the Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Member for NOC Stillwater. After joining the Language Arts Department full-time in 2007, she was named the Distinguished Faculty Member for NOC Stillwater in 2009. In 2019 she took on the role of Vice President for the Stillwater campus, heading up the NOC/OSU Gateway Program. Extremely passionate about student success, Watkins served on the task force that developed NOC’s First Gen Mentor Program, a program designed to assist students who are the first in their families to attend college. She has presented at numerous conferences, including the National Association of Developmental Education Conference and the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Watkins was recently appointed by Chancellor Allison Garrett to the State Regents’ Campus Safety & Security Task Force.

A graduate of Leadership Stillwater Class XXVIII, Watkins served on the Stillwater Public Education Foundation Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Friends of the Honors College at OSU. 

NOC adjusts room/board, rental property rates

 Regents approved an increase in room and board rates at Tonkawa and Enid.

  Vice President for Financial Affairs Anita Simpson explained the increase averages 5 percent for double occupancy in residence halls at both campus locations.   Simpson also reported the occupancy rates for Tonkawa was 64 percent in Fall 2023 and 58 percent for Spring 2024.  The Enid occupancy rate was 73 percent for Fall 2023 and 59 percent for Spring 2024.

  The regents approved the increase of residential rental properties and facility rentals at Enid and Tonkawa effective July 2024.  Rental properties will increase by $25/month bringing potentially an additional $10,800 per year to NOC.  NOC owns 27 rental properties in Tonkawa and 20 in Enid.

  Other increases include rental fees for Montgomery Hall, the President’s Conference Room, and the Gantz Center in Enid.  Those increases also begin July 2024.  There will be no increase to the Wellness Center at NOC Tonkawa.

  Regents also approved the college’s financial report, presented by Simpson.  They also approved three purchases of $25,000 or more including a $33,000.00 roof repair at Elliot-Goulter Residence Hall in Enid, 50 Computers for all campuses at a cost of $60,000, and roof replacement at Wilkin Hall at Tonkawa at a cost of $219,698.83.

  Numerous policies from the Northern Oklahoma College Foundation, Inc. were approved as presented by Vice President for Development and Community Relations Sheri Snyder, who serves as Executive Director to the Foundation.

  In Vice President updates, Vice President for Academic Affairs Watkins reported that 35 students completed their degrees through the Reach Higher Program from the state regents’ office.  She also reported that NOC Tonkawa will be hosting a workshop for Math Instructors this summer.

  Vice President for Enid Jeremy Hise reported that four Enid High School students and one Drummond High School student earned degrees from NOC as part of the Dual Credit to Degree Program.  He said 12 other students are currently in the program.

  Hise added that the City of Enid will be hosting the NJCAA Division 2 World Series for an additional three years through 2028.

  The regents also heard a wrestling report as NOC Tonkawa re-establishes the men’s program and starts the women’s program in Fall 2024.  Athletic Director Alan Foster reported that 41 men and 23 women have committed to be part of NOC wrestling this fall.

  The board approved the meeting dates for 2024-25.  The regents primarily meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. excluding August and January.

  Regents will meet again on Wednesday, June 19, at 2 p.m. in the President’s Large Conference Room in Tonkawa.