Academic affairs officials hired Dr. David Steffens as the new assistant provost.
Steffens began directing the Bass School of Music percussion program in 1997 and served as the interim assistant provost last academic year. He is also principal percussionist at the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and a founding member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble.
After Dr. Kent Buchanan was hired as the university provost last year, officials began searching for the new assistant provost. A committee reviewed the submissions and interviewed four applicants before recommending Steffens to Buchanan, who made the final decision.
“Dr. Steffens was already familiar with how the academic process works here on campus and has creative ideas,” Buchanan said. “During his interview, he clearly understood the position, and he will use it to move the university forward.”
As the interim assistant provost, Steffens continued many of his duties in the music school. With the interim title removed, he will still teach music, but his position in the academic affairs office will become more permanent, Buchanan said.
Maya Johnson, instrumental music education and percussion performance senior, said she knows Dr. Steffens is qualified for the position, but she hopes he will still have time to teach and work with the students.
“The downside for me is that, as one of his percussion students, I don’t get to spend as much time in lessons and percussion ensemble with Dr. Steffens as I have in the past, which is kind of sad because I came to OCU to study with him,” Johnson said. “I love working with DS, and I think he’s a fantastic instructor.”
Steffens was unavailable for comment last week.