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Oklahoma State University

Academic Affairs Units

Division of Academic Affairs

The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President

As the Chief Academic Officer of the University, the Provost and Senior Vice President (Vice President, Academic Affairs) serves as the senior member of the President's Cabinet. The Provost is expected to plan and develop academic programs; foster the academic growth and development of faculty, staff, and students; plan and execute academic policies; and budget and administer academic programs and related activities. In cooperation with the academic deans and members of the Faculty Council, the Provost also oversees processes for Faculty Appraisal and Development; Administrator Appraisal; and Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure.  The Provost chairs the Council of Deans and other working groups as needed.

The Vice Provost serves as a member of the Academic Affairs administrative team by providing oversight to university-wide retention to graduation initiatives, academic and curricular matters, including new program and degree requests; student academic grievances; academic advising; initiatives to enhance the academic experience of students; and other duties requested by the Provost.  The Vice Provost also oversees programs offered through the Offices of the University College, University College Advising/LASSO, Academic Services for Student-Athletes, University Assessment and Testing, Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research, and the Center for Sovereign Nations. The Vice Provost chairs the Instruction Council, Student Academic Services Directors Council, and other working groups as needed.


Meet the Office Personnel

Dr. Gary SandefurGary Sandefur

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs,
Professor of Sociology


Gary Sandefur became Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma State University in July, 2014 after working for thirty years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  At Wisconsin, he served as Professor of Sociology and Dean of the College of Letters and Science, among other positions. Sandefur and his wife, Kathy, are natives of Oklahoma and were pleased to have the opportunity to return home. 

Sandefur has published widely on issues at the intersection of population studies and public policy. His most cited work is a book with Sara McLanahan, Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps, published by Harvard University Press in 1994. His many articles and book chapters deal with a range of topics, especially American Indians, racial inequality, and family issues.

Sandefur’s awards include election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the William Goode and Otis Dudley Duncan awards from the American Sociological Association for Growing Up with a Single Parent. He was also awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching, the most prestigious teaching award at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As Provost, Sandefur is committed to improving the freshman retention rate and graduation rates.  He also works with colleagues inside and outside the Provost’s office on efforts to encourage more students to “Finish in Four.”  Sandefur works closely with the Deans to insure that OSU hires strong faculty members and provides them with the resources and mentoring that they need to be successful.  He works with the Vice President for Research on enhancing the research profile of OSU and with the Vice President for Institutional Diversity on making OSU a more diverse and inclusive institution.  He works closely with the Faculty Council officers to ensure that the faculty voice is heard on important issues facing Oklahoma State University and that university policies are reviewed and modified as times change.  

Dr. Jeanette Morehouse Mendez

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Professor of Political Science


Jeanette Mendez joined the OSU faculty in 2005 and is currently Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education. She is also a Professor of Political Science. Previously she served as Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Dean of Research and Facilities for the College of Arts and Sciences and Department Head of Political Science, all at OSU. Mendez graduated from Santa Clara University in 1998, receiving a B.S. in Combined Sciences. From there she went to Indiana University, earning an M.A. in Political Science in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Political Science in 2003.

Dr. Mendez’s research focuses primarily on political information processing, political behavior and political communication.  Her recent work includes studying gendered patterns in perception of candidates for political office.  She is a leading expert on women running for office, and elections more broadly.  She regularly provides commentary to local and national media outlets including MSNBC and KOCO News 5, and a variety of print outlets. She is the author of the book Descriptive Elections: Empowering the American Electorate, and over thirty-five peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.  Her work has been published in leading journals including Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, Political Psychology, Politics and Gender, Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, PS: Political Science and Politics, Journal of Media Psychology, and Journal of Political Science.  Dr. Mendez served four years as co-editor of Political Research Quarterly, a high impact generalist journal in political science.  She also continues to teach courses in Public Opinion, Voting and Elections and Survey Research.

As a first generation college student, Dr. Mendez knows firsthand the value of an undergraduate education and understands the importance of a land grant education.  She understands the challenges many students face based on her own personal experiences, where she struggled to connect during her first year and find a major.  Her experiences with undergraduate research and study abroad, along with the mentorship of her advisor and a key faulty member has shaped her advocacy for students and faculty throughout her career.


Ms. Denise Weaver
Assistant to the Provost

Ms. Kyndal Roark
Executive Administrative Associate, Provost

Ms. Diane Jones 
Curriculum Specialist

Ms. Candace Thrasher
 Coordinator, Academic Integrity


Academic Affairs Units

Organizational Charts - OSU | Provost


Academic Services for Student-Athletesalt
Dr. Marilyn Middlebrook, Director & Associate Athletic Director

Center for Sovereign Nations
Dr. Elizabeth Payne, Director

Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise
Dr. Vance Fried, Emeritus Professor & Director

Institute for Teaching & Learning Excellence 
Dr. Christine Ormsbee, Associate Provost & Director

OSU Museum of Art
Mrs. Vicky Berry, Director

Ms. Rita Peaster, Registrar

Scholar Development & Undergraduate Research 
Ms. Jessica Sullins, Director

University Assessment and Testing
Dr. Ryan Chung, Director

University College
Ms. Cheryl Kleeman, Director, Transfer & Veteran Affairs
Ms. Jessica Priddy Bullock, Director, Pre-Professional Academic Support Services

University College Advising & LASSO
Ms. Missy Wikle, Assistant Vice President for Transition and Retention

University Reaccreditation 
Dr. Brenda Masters, Director