Former College of Letters & Science Dean Gary Sandefur announced Monday he will leave the University of Wisconsin in June and return to his home state of Oklahoma after 30 years of service on campus.
Sandefur will become provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma State University, pending approval from the state’s the Board of Regents, according to a university statement.
Sandefur said in the statement he is especially excited to work with Oklahoma students and meet new colleagues there.
Sandefur first joined UW in 1984 as an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and School of Social Work. He went on to become a renowned demographer. His research focuses on the mechanics of the distribution of funding among minority groups and impoverished areas.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my 30 years at UW-Madison,” Sandefur said in the statement. “The students, alumni and my colleagues on campus have all been wonderful. I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities awaiting me at another great land-grant institution in my home state of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University. ”
In his time as L&S Dean, which began in 2004, Sandefur worked to expand First-Year Interest Groups class clusters, otherwise known as FIGs. He also focused on reinvigorating the L&S Equity and Diversity Committee, which addresses issues of department hiring processes and the student achievement gap.
“I do have a sense of satisfaction,” Sandefur said. “I feel good about the things that we were able to do in the areas that were my priorities at a very difficult budgetary time.”