Wansick is the first female president in Eastern’s 112-year history
WILBURTON, OK (June 15, 2020) – The Eastern Oklahoma State College Board of Regents today appointed Dr. Janet Wansick of McAlester as the 20th president in the college’s 112-year history. She will be the first female to serve in the leadership role.
Wansick, who most recently served as vice president of Academic Affairs at Connors State College, brings more than 28 years of experience in Oklahoma secondary and higher education.
“I am honored to be selected for this important role as the next president of Eastern Oklahoma State College,” Wansick said. “Eastern is a vibrant institution with a distinguished history that plays a critical role in advancing the economic well-being of southeastern Oklahoma. I am excited to collaborate with students, faculty, staff and the Board of Regents to chart a path for the institution’s future success.”
Board Chair Bobby Mouser said the EOSC Board of Regents made the selection after a national search.
“The Board is pleased with the hiring of Dr. Janet Wansick as the next president of Eastern. Dr. Wansick is without a doubt the right person to lead EOSC as we continue to work toward being the college of choice in southeastern Oklahoma,” Mouser said. “The selection process ensured the Board benefitted from the input of several stakeholder groups including alumni, community leaders, faculty and staff. It was extremely important to include these groups and I want to express my appreciation to those who participated in the presidential search process, which resulted in a field of strong candidates and allowed us to make an outstanding choice for the college’s new leader.”
After beginning her career as a mathematics teacher at McAlester Public Schools from 1992-2002, Wansick moved into higher education, serving as a professor of mathematics at Northern Oklahoma College and East Central University. She joined Eastern as the dean of the McAlester Campus in 2011 and quickly moved up the ranks in leadership, first as the associate vice president of Academic Affairs for two years and then transitioning into the role of vice president for Academic Affairs for an additional two years.
During her tenure as the top academic administrator at both Eastern and Connors, Wansick has supervised a variety of departments and served as the chair of each institution’s Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Committee. She has also served as chair of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) Council of Instruction, OSRHE Two-Year Council of Instruction and OSRHE Economic Development Council.
In addition to her professional career, Wansick has served in a variety of leadership roles in the McAlester community. She is a member of the Pittsburg County Health Board, Pride in McAlester and McAlester Main Street. She has also previously served with the McAlester Chamber of Commerce, Rotary International, McAlester Defense Support Association, MPower Economic Development, as well as president of the McAlester Public School Board and Pittsburg County Crime Stoppers. Wansick is also a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma, Class XXVI. In 2019, she was recognized as one of the Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” honorees. She was also recognized by the McAlester Chamber of Commerce as the “Business Woman of the Year” in 2013.
Wansick earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s degree in secondary education from East Central University. She earned her doctoral degree in higher education administration from Oklahoma State University.
Wansick will begin the position on July 1. She succeeds Dr. Stephen E. Smith who announced his plan to step down last fall after 13 years of service as president. Mouser praised Smith for his efforts and service to Eastern.
“I would like to thank Dr. Smith for his leadership at Eastern. He has been a passionate leader and a positive change agent, meeting every challenge head on and working with the Board, staff and students to provide solutions that ensured the institution would continue to provide a quality education in a pleasant environment and at an affordable cost,” Mouser said. “Dr. Smith had a role in many significant achievements during his tenure, including earning a number one ranking in the state for our nursing program, the development of five fully online degree programs, awards of more than $40 million in grant funding and Eastern’s positive role in regional economic development. Dr. Smith will be missed and I wish him the best.”