A member of the University of Central Oklahoma family since 1975 is retiring and leaders are working to fill his position.
UCO spokeswoman Adrienne Nobles said William Radke, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, will retire at the end of the current academic year. Radke, who has been a faculty member in the Department of Biology since 1975, joined administration in 2000.
“The provost could be described as the chief academic officer for the university,” Nobles said.
As provost, Radke leads UCO’s faculty, fostering an innovative learning community where teaching is a priority first and students develop personal relationships with faculty committed to transforming lives. He also has been part of UCO’s transformative learning initiative, a quality improvement team, undergraduate research effort and leadership initiatives.
UCO President Don Betz said choosing Radke to be provost, a position he formerly held at UCO, turned out to be an excellent one. Betz said he has valued his relationship with Radke.
“He is a close personal and professional friend,” Betz said.
Betz said Radke has had a profound effect on UCO and been amazingly effective in the lives of the thousands of students he has encountered. Radke is also well regarded by his colleagues and a national and internationally respected researcher, Betz said.
Radke said he too has much respect for Betz.
“He and I have had just the best relationship,” Radke said.
A number of factors played a part in his decision to retire, Radke said. One of the primary reasons is his desire to spend more time with his wife, who has been on an assignment with her company, living in Cambridge, Mass. They plan to maintain a home in Edmond as well.
Radke said retirement plans include his study of ornithology and taking a bird-watching trip to Africa. Since joining administration at UCO, he has continued an active research program in avian biology. He has numerous refereed publications in the field of vertebrate biology including several laboratory manuals.
Due to Radke’s looming retirement, UCO has launched a nationwide search for the next provost and vice president for academic affairs. For more information about UCO and the provost position, visit www.uco.edu.
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