John Feaver

letter from the president

President John Feaver.How do we ensure that Oklahoma’s best and brightest students have access to its most rigorous and innovative college?

Throughout my tenure, I have asked and have heard this question echoed regularly by members of our faculty, our executive council, staff, alumni and even students. It is a question none of us can afford to take lightly as the answer is the key to Science & Arts’s continued existence.

We do know it takes more than a textbook. More than a classroom. More than a body of like-minded students, all striving to realize their aspirations and ambitions. It takes more than a professor, however willing to sacrifice time and care to give those students the resources they need to excel.

It takes more than a department and more than any number of dedicated staff and administration officials, all pulling toward the best educational outcomes for the student body. It takes more than a dedicated Board of Regents and an engaged community of alumni.

And, as I am reminded again and again, it takes more than a president.

It actually takes an entire college community to build the foundation from which we can attract the caliber of students that Science & Arts’s mission and vision demand.

We are proud to be the only public liberal arts college in Oklahoma, but the time has come for a paradigm shift in the way we seek out those hard-working students who will be unafraid to ask questions, consider answers, yearn to make a difference, discover, inspire, succeed and most of all embrace opportunity for upward mobility.

In other words, students who are curious about the world. Because you know as well as I know that Science & Arts IS a College for the Curious Mind.

About President Feaver

Dr. John H. Feaver became the 12th president of the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma on July 1, 2000.

Born on March 5, 1943, to Dr. J. Clayton and Margaret Feaver in Berea, Kentucky, Feaver grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, where his father taught philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. He attended Norman public schools and enrolled at the University of Oklahoma, where he majored in history and subsequently earned three degrees. His Bachelor of Arts was earned in 1965 and Master of Arts in European history in 1968. He then entered military service and served in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star U.S. Army, Army Aviation Air Medical Evacuation. Following military service, he returned to OU and completed his Ph.D. in history. In 1978 he joined the OU faculty and taught U.S. and Asian history.

He was appointed to the Science & Arts faculty in 1980 where he taught history and political science, was a mainstay in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program for a number of years, and served as departmental and divisional chair in the social sciences. He was named Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1988 by the university’s Board of Regents.

During his more than 20 years as president, Feaver has guided Science & Arts through many great successes. Among them,

  • The university foundation’s earning assets have grown from $2 million to now over $30 million, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships for our students.
  • Science & Arts’ support and commitment for diversity is reflected through our special programs like the Neill-Wint Center for Neurodiversity and the Dr. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Center for Social Justice and Racial Healing.
  • Since 2000, Science & Arts has been home to one of the most successful athletic departments in the NAIA, claiming national championships in basketball and softball; more than 50 Drovers have been selected as NAIA All-American’s, and two have been selected as the NAIA Player of the Year; and our coaches have been named the Sooner Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year 21 times.
  • Fourteen buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and we are the only college in Oklahoma to have its entire campus listed as a National Historic District. In 2019, we launched a 25-year masterplan designed to ensure that Science & Arts is able to fulfill its mission as Oklahoma’s public liberal arts college well into the future.

Feaver is past chair of the Council of Presidents that serves in an advisory role to the Chancellor and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. He sits on a number of statewide boards, including Creative Oklahoma Inc., the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, Oklahoma Policy Institute, Oklahoma Arts Institute Foundation and the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society. He is a past member on the boards of Oklahoma A+ Schools, Oklahoma Arts Institute, Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Preservation Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Community Institute and the Southwest Oklahoma Impact Coalition. He also sits on the boards of the Chickasha Economic Development Council and the Chickasha Historic Preservation Commission. In 2012, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.

Feaver is currently the longest-serving university president in the state.