Dr. Kayla Hale named University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma’s 13th President

A headshot of Dr. Kayla Hale in a red dress against a black backdrop
Hale is the first USAO alumna to lead the university

The University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma Board of Regents voted unanimously to name Dr. Kayla Hale as the institution’s 13th president. Hale will begin her tenure on Aug. 1, 2023.

With 35 years of experience in higher education advancement in both the public and private sectors, Hale has served 25 years at the University of Tulsa, most recently as Vice President of University Advancement and Alumni Engagement where she has led a team responsible for securing more than $600 million in gifts and pledges. She has also served at both the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and Rogers State University in Claremore.

"We have chosen the right leader to launch USAO to new heights as we navigate the quickly changing higher education landscape,” said Regent Chris Mosley, chair of the USAO Board of Regents. “Dr. Hale was chosen for her years of successful leadership in higher education and demonstrated fundraising success. She has a strategic understanding of USAO’ opportunities, and the board looks forward to working alongside her to continue advancing the university forward.”

Hale was selected following a national search. The search committee included faculty, staff, student, alumni and community representatives.

"I am incredibly proud to be selected as the 13th president of the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma. As a proud alumna, I can think of no higher honor than to lead this historic institution into its next chapter of achievement,” said Hale. “I want to thank the Board of Regents for their thoughtful and intensive work in identifying the next leader of the university. I look forward to meeting the USAO, Chickasha and Grady County communities in the coming months."

Hale will follow current USAO President John Feaver, who has served for more than two decades in the leadership role.

“I could not be more pleased with the selection of Dr. Hale to lead this university, with its distinct mission and long tradition of doing things differently,” said President John Feaver. “Not only do Dr. Hale’s credentials and decades of experience in higher education make her incredibly well-suited to the position, but she also has the special quality of being a former student here, so she understands exactly how USAO stands apart from other universities.”

"What an honor it is to follow in the footsteps of President Feaver in this critically important role,” said Hale. “He was an inspiration to me as a student and remains an inspiration to me as the university’s next president."

Active in the Tulsa community, Hale has served as a board member for the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice and as a campaign volunteer for A New Leaf. She currently serves on the board of the Sanford and Irene Burnstein Foundation.

Hale attended USAO for two years before completing a bachelor’s degree from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, followed by a master’s degree in business management from Friends University. In 2008, she received her Ph.D in organizational leadership from the University of Oklahoma.

"Just as our students know that a liberal arts degree can open numerous doors including the opportunity to become successful CEOs and entrepreneurs, naming a new president that started her journey as a Drover further demonstrates the value of the USAO education,” said Regent Diane Ming, chair of the presidential search committee.