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NOC Board of Regents approve President Clark Harris’ retirement letter

Following an executive session during the Northern Oklahoma College Board of Regents monthly meeting on Wednesday in Stillwater, the Board unanimously voted to approve the retirement letter of NOC President Clark Harris, effective January 2, 2024.

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

Chair Brad Fox commented, “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.”

In other business, the Northern Oklahoma College Board of Regents approved the FY 2023 external audit report, as presented by Kirk Vanderslice with Hinkle & Company at Wednesday’s regent meeting in Stillwater. Vanderslice reported that the audit went very smoothly and 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, 2023 was $13,312,285 or down 9% 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.

Northern Oklahoma College, the state’s first public two-year community college, is a multi-campus, land-grant institution that provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services.

NOC serves nearly 4,000 students through the home campus in Tonkawa, branch in Enid, and NOC/OSU Gateway Program in Stillwater.  Of these students about 80% receive financial aid and/or scholarships. 75% of NOC students complete their degree with zero debt.

The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers associate degrees in three general areas: Arts, Science and Applied Science; the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs; and the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing.

For more information about Northern Oklahoma College please call (580) 628-6208 or visit the NOC website at