OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – An Oklahoma Christian University graduate and international business expert is the new dean of OC’s College of Business Administration.
Jeff Simmons, a professor of business who sponsors OC’s nationally competitive ethics team, moves into the role after serving as the college’s interim dean last year.
“I am humbled to take over a position that has been held by three great people before me. They built an incredible foundation,” Simmons said. “I am excited because of our outstanding faculty, talented students, amazing alumni and our many partners in the business community.”
Simmons earned OC’s campus-wide Faculty Leadership Award last year. Scott LaMascus, OC’s vice president for academic affairs, said Simmons’ global perspective makes him an excellent choice to lead the College of Business Administration.
“Jeff is an award-winning faculty member who has focused on helping all his students grow into business leaders of integrity and excellence,” LaMascus said. “As interim dean, he quickly began working with faculty, reconnecting with the state’s business leaders, and shaping a fresh vision for the college to boldly tie its work to the needs of national business leaders and to the university’s mission. He has the heart of a servant and the perspective of a global business leader.”
A 1990 OC graduate with a marketing degree, Simmons completed a master’s degree in international business training at the prestigious Thunderbird School of Global Management and earned his doctorate in marketing from Nova Southeastern University.
He served as dean of the College of Business Administration and Professional Studies at Rochester College in the Detroit area and taught at International Christian University in Vienna, Austria, before returning to his alma mater in 2008.
Before moving into higher education, Simmons was employed at the U.S. Department of Commerce in the International Trade Administration and also worked in automobile marketing, sales and retail management. He recently served as a consultant to a firm in the Shandong Province of China.
“One of my strengths is international business, and it is my desire is to continue working with the state’s business community to build international connections,” Simmons said.
Simmons helped Oklahoma Christian launch its popular international business degree in 2009. In addition, he has been involved in the university’s master of business administration program – the second-largest MBA program in the state of Oklahoma – and OC’s Rwandan cohort.
“Our Rwandan graduate students continue to experience exciting growth, and we are proud to help contribute to their nation’s economic future,” Simmons said.
In addition to Simmons’ professional experiences, his leadership in the classroom has made a positive impression on students and staff alike.
“Jeff has helped students have high quality experiences at OC through his mentoring of our business ethics teams,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “In the past three years, Jeff’s teams have won three state titles and placed fifth in the nation. The future of the College of Business Administration is bright with Jeff serving as dean.”
In his free time, Simmons enjoys spending time with his wife, Pattie, and his son, Jordan, as well as golfing, swimming, playing basketball and reading from several genres of literature. Pattie is a 1991 Oklahoma Christian graduate who is an executive assistant in OC’s finance department.
Past deans of OC’s College of Business Administration are Howard Leftwich, a longtime leader in accounting in Oklahoma; Jack Skaggs, who also served as OC’s ethics ombudsman after retiring from teaching; and Phil Lewis, a national leader in the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and author of “From Boardroom to Whiteboard: A New Generation of Leadership.”
David Seat, an Oklahoma Christian alumnus and executive vice president for Oklahoma City-based BancFirst, praised the choice of Simmons as OC’s new business dean.
“Dr. Jeff Simmons is an intellectually gifted man with a deep understanding of preparing students to thrive in the business world along with developing their personal value perspectives,” Seat said. “He will lead Oklahoma Christian’s College of Business Administration to even greater levels of student preparation and accomplishments.”
OC’s College of Business Administration offers undergraduate degrees in accounting, finance, general business, international business, management and marketing, plus master’s degrees in accountancy and business administration. The MBA offers specialty tracks in accounting, finance, health services management, human resources, international business, leadership and organizational development, marketing, and project management. The college is fully accredited through the ACBSP.
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, set a school record this past year with 2,479 students enrolled. Overall, the last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever.