Pat Okker Selected as Interim Dean of A&S
University of Missouri Provost Garnett Stokes announced today that Pat Okker, a senior associate provost, has agreed to serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Science. Okker joined the University of Missouri as an assistant professor in 1990 and was promoted to the rank of professor in 2004. She served as chair of the English department from 2005 to 2011 and has served in the provost’s office since that time. Her research focuses on 19th-century American literature, and she has received numerous awards including the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence and the Faculty–Alumni Award. Okker will begin her new duties August 1. Associate Dean Theodore Tarkow will serve as acting dean through July 31.
Stokes says Dean Okker has selected A. Cooper Drury as a new associate dean of A&S. Drury currently serves as chair of the Department of Political Science. In an email to A&S faculty and staff, Stokes calls Drury’s record of research and teaching, his administrative success as chair of political science, his contributions to the formation of the Kinder Institute, and his leadership experience with Faculty Council “tremendous assets.”
Stokes says the national search for a permanent dean will begin early in the fall semester. Dean Michael O’Brien recently retired and accepted the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Texas A&M–San Antonio.