With a mission to drive modernization and growth at Oklahoma Christian University, President John deSteiguer today named two new roles on the president’s cabinet with Dr. L. Ken Jones to serve as Chancellor and Dr. Brandon Tatum to serve as Executive Vice President. The announcement comes less than a year into deSteiguer’s extended five-year contract leading OC.
“While higher education has faced unprecedented disruption over the past two years, Oklahoma Christian has demonstrated its strength as a Christ-centered private institution,” deSteiguer said. “The university has achieved thrilling results in growing academic programs this past year by investing in people and aligning resources around innovation. To build upon this momentum, I am expanding our leadership team with two new roles who will work closely with me and the Board of Trustees in setting a bold strategy and vision for OC’s future.”
As Chancellor, Dr. Jones will be a vital member of OC's senior leadership team, provide visionary counsel to the President and mentor employees across campus to develop their leadership potential. Dr. Jones most recently served as chancellor of Lubbock Christian from 2011 to 2017. Prior to becoming chancellor, he was the university’s fifth president from May 1993 to January 2011. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Dr. Jones obtained a Ph.D. in Engineering from Oklahoma State University where he worked in the profession for several years until he answered a call to ministry where he served several churches as the preaching minister.
Dr. Jones is the author of Leadership After God’s Own Heart and The Ultimate Leader. Dr. Jones and his wife, Suzie, have two married children and four grandchildren. They live on their ranch in Cordell, Oklahoma.
“Dr. Jones is well-known as a strong leader of excellence and integrity among his peers in the private Christian university community,” deSteiguer said. “His wisdom and knowledge of higher education in this sector is unmatched, and we could not be more pleased to welcome him to the OC family.”
As Executive Vice President, Dr. Brandon Tatum will support the president and work with faculty and staff campus wide to strategically align university resources to grow existing programs and expand innovative partnerships. Dr. Tatum most recently served as OC’s Chief Strategy Officer, where he generated more than $2 million in new revenue for the university by establishing New College. Among other programs, OC’s New College offers the OC para-professional program and a work-based nursing program, and has tripled the size of OC’s dual enrollment program with high schools. These three efforts have resulted in 1,676 new non-traditional students enrolled at OC since January 2020.
“Dr. Tatum understands the rapidly evolving landscape of higher education, and no one better anticipates and envisions programs, models and approaches that resonate in the marketplace of learning,” deSteiguer said. “He champions progress through innovation, and challenges traditional approaches that have lost their effectiveness. He foresees the needs of both students and employers before they are obvious. I am thrilled to have Dr. Tatum serving OC in this capacity.”
Dr. Tatum has spent his career working to innovate in both higher education and K-12. Tatum is the founder of ConnectEdu and XR Box, companies focused on innovation by creating relevant and vibrant educational opportunities for non-traditional college students. Dr. Tatum’s doctoral degree is from Abilene Christian University in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education. He is often sought to advise policymakers in Oklahoma on education, presenting before the State Legislature, serving on Governor Stitt’s education policy committee in 2019, and serving as a Governor’s appointee on the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board.
Previously, Dr. Tatum served as President of Oklahoma Christian Academy and Executive Director of the National Christian School Association. Brandon and his wife Megan have three children and reside in Edmond, Oklahoma.
On February 17, 2021, the OC Board of Trustees announced an extension to President John deSteiguer’s term. The Board’s decision demonstrates support for deSteiguer’s vision and confidence in the University’s direction under his leadership.