North hire boosts computer science program

David North
David North

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – David North brings four decades of experience and expertise to his new roles as director of computer science advancement and associate professor of computer science at Oklahoma Christian University (OC).

The 1979 OC graduate has held vice president roles with MBO Partners, Netplex and Applied Intelligence Group. He was MBO’s chief operating officer prior to returning to Oklahoma Christian.

North has been a chief technology officer, project manager, system architect and computer systems consultant. He has managed hundreds of software development projects and been involved in the startup of several businesses. He is a noted early adopter and innovator in the areas of software engineering, object-oriented development and Internet application development.

At Oklahoma Christian, North is working to enhance the undergraduate curriculum and add a master’s degree in computer science to the university’s graduate offerings.

OC’s undergraduate program, featuring degree tracks in Computer Science, Computer Science with Business, and Computer Science with Gaming and Animation, will prepare students for careers in a wide range of organizations. The program features core curriculum that provides a foundational knowledge of computer science principles and concepts, plus courses that focus on software engineering and web, security and mobile technologies. Students’ real-world practice opportunities also will grow.

“OC has had a strong computer science program for many years. Our graduates have been very successful in getting great jobs with excellent employers,” North said. “But these changes will strengthen our degree with a focus on technologies that have become popular in the last few years. That’s going to benefit our students as they prepare for successful computer science careers.”

Computer science is one of the most lucrative and fastest-growing job fields. CNN, Money Magazine, and U.S. News and World Report list multiple computer science professions – including computer systems analysis, database development, information security analysis, software architecture, software development, and video game design – among the nation’s top 10 jobs in salary and availability.

“OC’s computer science degree produces graduates that are in demand as the technologists of the future,” North said. “With their foundation in computer science principles, concepts and current technologies, OC graduates can quickly contribute to a company’s operations.”

In addition to the rigorous curriculum, OC students will benefit from mentoring relationships with instructors like North and other expert alumni who are leaders in various fields.

Recent OC graduates have computing jobs at NASA, ESPN, the FBI and a host of other companies and organizations. Alumnus Richard Lawson, a member of OC’s board of trustees, founded Lawson Software and built it into a $2 billion business with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.

“David North has been a national leader in computer science and brings many years of graduate computer science study and an understanding of Christian higher education. He will mentor students from across the U.S., inspire innovation teams in capstone projects, and set high standards for those projects, too,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “North is the perfect answer to what our College of Engineering and Computer Science dean Byron Newberry has heard from our industry friends nearby in the Tinker Air Logistics community. We hear it from corporate America, too. They need more computer science graduates than they can get. OC graduates bring the full package of character, competence and leadership.”

North’s accomplished career actually began when he created technology solutions for Oklahoma Christian as an undergraduate student. He went on to lead the team of computer experts that developed innovative exhibits at OC’s Enterprise Square in the 1980s.

He currently directs the Capitol Hill ministry at Memorial Road Church of Christ, where he serves as a deacon. He and his wife Beverly, also a 1979 OC graduate, have three children and five grandchildren. David’s father, Stafford North, is a member of the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame and is retiring this spring after 61 years at Oklahoma Christian.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian set a school record this year with 2,479 students enrolled. Overall, the last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever.

The university offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.