President Timothy Eaton of Randall University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Brent Sykes as the Academic Dean effective July 1, 2018. Dr. Sykes will oversee the academic faculty, Registrar’s Office, and curriculum development of the University. As Chief Academic Officer (CAO), Dr. Sykes will serve in the President’s Cabinet alongside the other administrators. Executive Vice President, Dr. Mark Braisher, has served well as CAO, but due to the growth of the University will now focus on Financial and University operations. Dr. Braisher is to be commended for his part in the growth of the University necessitating this change.
Brent Sykes has worked in higher education for eight years after leaving a decade-long career in the mental health field. Dr. Sykes has worked across a host of areas that have prepared him for the role of academic dean. He worked in student services developing a novel, Native American learning community at the University of Oklahoma. His Native American tribe, the Chickasaw Nation, recognized his autoethnography of this experience, as Best Master’s Thesis for the Chickasaw Nation Research and Publication Award. Next, he developed curriculum for Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) Clinical Research Coordinator Program, which was a component of a $1.72 million federal grant for “Building a Clinical Research Track in the Health Careers Ladder.” While at OCCC he also began teaching online courses in clinical research and in-class strategies for success courses for traditional and non-traditional students.
In 2012, Brent began teaching in the psychology program part-time at Randall University. Since then, he assumed a full-time position in 2014, became director of the social studies program in teacher education, as well as director of the psychology program. During this time, he successfully wrote the program and assessment report for the social studies major, which resulted in an affirmative accreditation from the Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability. He has maintained a full teaching load, advised students, served on several academic committees, and has made structural changes to the psychology program, which reflect his academic research interests in community psychology.
Dr. Sykes received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in 2017. He has also published in academic, peer-reviewed journals focusing on adult learning for minority students and campus-community research engagement. He and his wife, Amanda, live in Oklahoma City with their five beautiful children: Paige, 5-year-old triplets (Elinor, Josephine, Lincoln), and Clayton, the most recent addition to the family.