Regents rehire Feaver, approve software solutions

Regents learned of a new $45,000 grant from the Kirkpatrick Foundation to expand USAO research and development of Virtual Problem Solving software, designed by Dr. Erik Guzik, left. Regents rehired President John Feaver, right, to serve another year as president.

Regents rehire Feaver, approve software solutions


Dr. John Feaver was rehired as president of the University of Science and Arts for another year by the USAO Board of Regents on Feb. 8. Feaver is serving his 11th year as president.

Known for his devotion to historic preservation statewide, Feaver also serves on a half-dozen boards, including A+ Schools, the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Community Institute and Creative Oklahoma, among others. Previously he served on the USAO faculty before advancing to the office of president in 2000.

In a meeting cut short by the impending ice storm, Regents also approved software solutions that will increase network security and prevent copyright infringement, reemployed campus administrators for another year, and examined software solutions to digitize all student records.

First, Regents approved the purchase of a SafeConnect Network Access Control solution from Del Marketing LP, which provided the low bid. The $37,600 expenditure is necessary to increase network security and bring USAO into full compliance with the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act, which was designed to protect copyright holders and deter illegal downloading of movies, music and other files, said Lynn Boyce, vice president for information services and technology. Funding will come from USAO’s oil and gas revenues.

The result will be higher security for campus computer networks against viruses introduced by outside computers – whether brought to campus by students, faculty or guests – and better compliance by all campus network users with federal laws on copyrights, Boyce explained.

Regents also approved continued research and eventual purchase of a new software solution to digitize all student records. Three possible options are under study by a team of staff in admissions, student services, enrollment management, business, financial aid, advancement and the registrar’s office.  A decision is expected in March. Funding also will come from USAO’s oil and gas fund.

Regents learned for the first time of a $45,000 gift to the USAO Foundation from the Kirkpatrick Foundation to expand USAO’s research and development of Virtual Problem Solving software (VPS), which is being piloted in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and select rural schools.

VPS was designed by Dr. Erik Guzik, assistant professor of economics at USAO. According to Guzik, “VPS is an online learning system designed to encourage creative and critical thinking, problem solving, project-based collaboration, and the effective communication of ideas within the K-16 classroom."   

In personnel actions, the board approved the employment of Dusty Windsor as security officer, and Kirk Irby as groundskeeper.  Regents also approved the retirement of Dr. John Miller, professor of history, effective April 30, and the resignation of Chris Boyer.

Regents were presented a list of four faculty members who are eligible this spring for tenure, and five who are eligible for promotion.  As is customary, regents will consider faculty tenure and promotions at their next regularly scheduled meeting, which is April 12.