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Osage tribal member appointed Oklahoma Panhandle State University President

Dr. Julie Dinger will start her presidential duties on July 1, pending Board approval.

The Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents is announcing the appointment of Dr. Julie Dinger to serve as the next President of Oklahoma Panhandle State University located in Goodwell.

Dinger, an Osage tribal member, has served as Provost and Chief Academic Officer at OPSU since 2017. The Board of Regents will formally consider Dinger’s appointment at their June 1 meeting, according to a news release.

Dinger will start her presidential duties on July 1, pending Board approval. She succeeds Dr. Tim Faltyn who resigned from the OPSU presidency on Dec. 31, 2021, to accept a position with another higher education institution in Oklahoma. The announcement follows a six-month search by the Regents that began with the formation of a diverse search committee consisting of OPSU administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community leaders.

“I am honored to serve as the 16th president of Oklahoma Panhandle State University,” Dinger said in a statement. “As Provost I was blessed to lead a team that together achieved our ranking in 2022 as the #5 Top Public College in the Western Region by US News and World Report and the fastest growing university in the region for 4 of the last 5 years.”

According to the institution’s website, OPSU was created by an act of the Oklahoma State Legislature in 1909 as Pan-Handle Agricultural Institute offering secondary agricultural education for the Panhandle area. In 1921, the legislature authorized the school to offer a two-year college curriculum, and the name was changed to Panhandle Agricultural and Mechanical College. Two additional name changes were also ordered by the legislature: in 1967, Oklahoma Panhandle State College of Agriculture and Applied Science; in 1974, Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

According to the US News and World Report, OPSU had a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,337 students in Fall 2020 and follows a semester-based academic calendar. The Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges governs the institution.

In the A&M Board of Regents announcement, Board Chair Dr. Trudy Milner, Board Chair said: “The A&M Regents are pleased to present Dr. Dinger as our next OPSU President. Her leadership as Provost has contributed to the success of OPSU, as enrollment has remained steady even during the pandemic. We look forward to supporting her as President, and we are confident OPSU will maintain continuity and momentum under her leadership as it continues to provide an attractive higher education opportunity for the Panhandle region.”

According to Dinger’s bio statement, she received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma. She is an active member of the Higher Learning Commission Peer Corps as an Evaluator and teaches courses in Sociology during her free time. Prior to her service at OPSU, Dinger served as Vice President of Academic Affairs for Connors State College, a Native American-serving non-tribal institution in Warner.

Dinger is the daughter of Melissa Ryan, granddaughter of Julia M. Devine Ryan, great-granddaughter of original allottee Pearl Irene Revard Devine and great-great-granddaughter of original allottee Franklin N. Revard.

Looking forward, Dinger said: “The future is bright for Oklahoma Panhandle State University, as the state’s first and only public Hispanic Serving Institution, we are poised to continue to grow our enrollment and programs to support students and our community. Education is the single greatest tool we have in our society to uplift and improve lives, as the President of Oklahoma Panhandle State University I have the privilege of representing a community of scholars who are committed to connecting students to their brightest future.”

For more information on OPSU academic programs, degrees and athletics, visit the institution’s website at www.opsu.edu

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Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.
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