TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Northeastern State University President Steve Turner announced his plans to retire on Wednesday.
Turner will retire as the university’s 19th president later this summer, the university said.
“Penny and I feel blessed beyond measure to be part of the NSU story,” Turner said in a press release. “We sincerely thank each of you for making NSU our home for what will be 11½ years. This season is ending and a new one begins later this summer. NSU’s future is bright.”
Turner began college in his late 20s after nearly a decade of oil field work. Turner assumed his presidential duties at NSU in January 2012. He came to the university from East Central University where he served as vice president for administration and finance and executive assistant to the president for governmental relations and economic development.
The university said Turner has worked to bring high-demand degrees to NSU and ensure programs provide students with much-needed experiential learning opportunities through research opportunities, community service, internships, clinical experiences and more.
He also oversaw a number of major renovation projects such as Wilson Hall, Seminary Hall, the RiverHawk Shoppe, Beta Pond, the John Vaughn Library and Circle of Excellence Plaza.
In addition, Turner has led the university through tumultuous times such as several years of state funding cuts, the COVID-19 pandemic and drops in enrollment.
This includes providing support for accelerated bachelor’s to master’s degree programs and working with faculty and staff to expand the Smart Choice Program that helps students make a seamless transition from earning an associate degree to a four-year degree.
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