Osman Özturgut, PhD, to Lead College of Professional Programs

Message to the campus community from Jonathan Anderson.

I am delighted to share that, after a national search, Dr. Osman Özturgut has accepted the offer to become the next Dean of the College of Professional Programs. He will begin his new role on September 16, 2024.

Dr. Özturgut grew up in Turkey and earned a BA in American Culture and Literature with a minor in Secondary Education from Hacettepe University. He completed a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University in St. Louis, with an emphasis on teaching English as a Foreign Language, followed by an M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Additionally, he holds an MBA from the University of the Incarnate Word and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Missouri-St Louis. His extensive research includes topics such as education, cultural competency, globalization, leadership theory, and student success and retention. A prolific scholar, Dr. Özturgut has authored numerous articles and book chapters and has been an invited keynote speaker at over 10 national and international conferences. His grant-writing and fundraising efforts have garnered more than $15 million in external funding throughout his career.

Dr. Osman Özturgut will begin his new role in September.

Dr. Özturgut’s leadership experiences are commendable. Most recently, he served as Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Associate Provost of Strategic Outreach and Partnerships at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. There, he developed new programs domestically and internationally to meet workforce development demands. He is known for his community-building and fundraising skills, and his innovative “triple helix” framework aligning education, government, and business to address workforce and educational needs. Prior to this role, he was the Interim Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Academic Innovation at the university. His non-academic experiences include teaching at elementary and high schools in Turkey, serving in the Turkish Army, working as a COO for a marble trading company in China, and managing a hotel.

During his campus visit, Dr. Özturgut impressed many with his high energy, entrepreneurial mindset, and deep appreciation for education. Feedback highlighted his understanding of the challenges facing our College and student population, his innovative thinking, and his warmth and sense of humor.

Feedback from various stakeholders, including chairs, deans, CPP faculty and staff, and President McMahan, confirmed that Dr. Özturgut is the right leader for our College. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming him to our community.

I would like to thank the search advisory committee for their dedication:

  • Dr. Gwen Cash-James, Academic Affairs, Committee Chair
  • Ms. Alyson Rode, College of Professional Programs
  • Dr. Ann Van-Wig, School of Education
  • Dr. Brian Grinder, School of Business
  • Dr. Danielle Sitzman, School of Psychology
  • Dr. Katie Walker, Social Work
  • Dr. Li Huang, School of Accounting
  • Dr. Qing Stellwagen, School of Library
  • Dr. Luis Matos, External Faculty Member, Department of Biology
  • Mr. Mike Ekins, Community Member

Finally, I extend my deepest gratitude to Interim Dean Martha Raske for assuming the interim Dean role this past year. Her calm and steady leadership, coupled with her fair and balanced approach, has been instrumental in guiding the College of Professional Programs this past year.  

In gratitude,


Jonathan W. Anderson, PhD, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, professor, School of Psychology

Have Feedback?

We strive to make this website the best it can be. If you have questions or comments about this website, we welcome your input. Let us know what you think.