New Dean Named
Dr. Sharon Lease has been named the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Mid-America Christian University (MACU).
Lease is a highly respected senior executive within the field of higher education. Her impressive career includes 25 years of leadership at the Oklahoma State Department of Education and Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation, among other appointments and positions.
Regarding the appointment, university President John Fozard said, “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Lease to Mid-America. She brings a wealth of knowledge and executive leadership to our residential undergraduate programs and will play a vital role in guiding the College of Arts and Sciences to a new level of excellence. Her distinguished career personifies the qualities and experiences we desire for our students—service, leadership, and exposure to international issues.”
Lease comes to MACU from Texas A&M University-Texarkana where she taught a doctoral cohort in education administration. She began her fruitful career in education as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching children in Malaysia. She returned to the U.S. as an elementary and middle-school teacher in Pennsylvania, but later moved to Guam to serve as coordinator of 28 guidance counselors, and as principal of a large school. She also spent several years in Ahwaz, Iran, as an elementary and middle school guidance counselor and principal, and another year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a reading director.
When she returned to the states, Dr. Lease focused her efforts on addressing Oklahoma’s educational needs. At the Oklahoma State Department of Education, she served as Assistant State Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent supervising the State accreditation of all applicant schools, public and private, and also directed the Indian Education Division of the Department. In addition, Dr. Lease was superintendent of Western Heights School District in Oklahoma City.
At the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (OCTP), Dr. Lease served as the State Director of Program Accreditation where she was the state contact and liaison between the organization and the National Council for Accreditation Education (NCATE).
In addition to being an associate professor at California State University-Northridge, Dr. Lease served as an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University, and Southern Nazarene University.
Widely published in academic journals, Dr. Lease has served on numerous boards and commissions and currently serves as executive director of the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame. She has earned numerous certifications including Superintendent, Secondary Principal, Elementary Principal, Reading Specialist (K-12), Guidance Counselor (K-12), and Elementary Teacher. Dr. Lease is a member of numerous professional organizations and has received an abundance of professional honors in her field to date.
Joining President Fozard in welcoming Dr. Lease to her new duties at Mid-America, Provost Kathaleen Reid-Martinez, Ph.D. said, “We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. Lease’s impressive career to oversee the College of Arts and Sciences. Her leadership and significant experience will be invaluable to our students and faculty.”
In choosing to accept the leadership position at Mid-America, Lease said that she was drawn to the mission and vision of the university. “As someone who has worked extensively in higher education, I especially appreciate the emphasis on empowering students to create, innovate, and collaborate to address local and global issues. This perspective is so timely and represents the skills and focus students need to make a difference in our world. I’m very pleased to be a part of it.”
A native of Oklahoma and longtime resident of Oklahoma City, Dr. Lease holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma City University; and two master’s degrees—one from Millersville University in Pennsylvania and the other from the University of Guam; she received her doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.
Her appointment became official September 10, 2012.