Hall of Fame Member Biographies

James Pappas

Dr. James Pappas has served OU for twenty-one years and is currently the Vice President for University Outreach, Dean of the College of Liberal Studies, and Professor of Educational Psychology and Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He came to the University of Oklahoma in 1987. With Pappas’ exceptional leadership, the University of Oklahoma’s University Outreach, including the Colleges of Continuing Education and Liberal Studies, is a higher education enterprise with a $95 million annual budget and ranks among the nation’s top five institutions in terms of program size and diversity. Its major grant and contract activities include the Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controller training, the U.S. Department of Education four-state Mid-Continent Comprehensive Center, the National Resource Center for Youth Services, a five-state substance abuse prevention program, the Economic Development Institute, five banking schools, management training for businesses and industries, and a national training contract with the U.S. Postal Service.

Dr. Pappas’s visionary leadership has led the University of Oklahoma outreach to international prominence in lifelong learning through Partnership 21, numerous U.S. Department of Education Resource Centers, National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement, PetroChina, the Center for English as a Second Language, the Infopoverty Institute, a satellite training network with the Oklahoma Department of Educational Resource Centers, and the U.S. Agency for International Development programs in the Middle East. Recently, Pappas established the OU Independent Learning High School. Under Pappas’s guidance, OU became the only school in the Big 12 to achieve accreditation for its Aviation Management and Professional Pilot degree programs by the Council on Aviation Accreditation. Pappas is an Honorary Lifetime Member and current officer of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. Pappas has also served in leadership positions for the University of Continuing Education Association, the National Association for State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, the Association of Graduate and Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP), and was recently named as Publisher of the AGLSP’s academic journal now hosted on OU’s campus. He has also served in the community in many local and state civic organizations. Dr. James Pappas’s international reputation and cutting-edge advice makes him an outstanding leader in the academic community and community as a whole.