Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Marcia Bennett

Solving the problems attendant to large educational institutions requires more than the attention of presidents and provosts; it demands the work of dedicated staff to obtain factual information, lead groups to obtainable solutions, and solve related difficulties that sometimes get overlooked. An individual who has excelled in performing these functions is Marcia Bennett. She mastered them in her roles as Executive Secretary to several OU presidents, Assistant Dean at OU and Texas A&M, and Vice Provost for five Provosts at the OU Health Sciences Center, where she has worked for the last 27 years. She earned a B.S. in Sociology from Oklahoma State University, an M.B.A. from Texas A&M in Management, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Bennett commenced her career in higher education administration in the Texas A&M College of Business Administration in 1976, then moved to the OU College of Engineering Financial Services in 1979, and became Executive Assistant to the President of OU in 1985. She started her long career at the OU Health Sciences Center in 1989 and has been there ever since. During that time she has served as the chief administrative officer to the Senior Vice President and Provost performing executive and administrative duties of broad scope and complexity. For example, she led the Health Sciences Center strategic planning process, wrote the strategic plan, a funding proposal to raise the Library's endowment by $5 million, co-wrote the proposal that obtained a $11.2 million grant for the establishment of a Department of Geriatric Medicine, and helped prepare the institution for a stronger information technology system. In her current position as Vice Provost for Health Sciences she oversees resource allocations to the Center's colleges, and in conjunction with the Vice President for Administration and Finance helps develop the annual budget, coordinates financial decisions throughout the academic year, oversees the academic development of faculty, and serves as the Provost's representative on all faculty personnel matters. In her activities, Dr. Marcia Bennett has acted as a mentor, helping individuals develop their careers. She has aided in creating networks that share information among all elements of the Center, from Chairs of Surgery to cell biologists to nursing students. As one person has written, "Her advice is legendary." Dr. Bennett understands both the details and the broad implications of the problems that come before her, listens patiently to all points of view, and helps groups find solutions to their dilemmas. She is an exemplar of true leadership. For her superb contributions to enhancing medical education and raising the standard of medical practice and research in Oklahoma, thereby benefitting all the citizens of the state, the Heritage Society proudly inducts Marcia Bennett into the 2016 Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.