Dr. Diana “Diane” Lovell has been named president of Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford and Sayre.
Lovell—who has been serving as Vice-Chancellor of Student Services, Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of History at Blinn (TX) College District since 2012—will start as SWOSU president on July 1.
The announcement came at a special meeting of the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) Regents held March 3.
“Dr. Lovell is well-positioned to provide the leadership to take SWOSU to the next level. Her ability to build innovative programs and create community connections will not only grow the enrollment of SWOSU but also demonstrate the value of higher education,” said Susan Winchester, chair of the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO). “Her deep roots in western Oklahoma and SWOSU will enable her to hit the ground running.”
Lovell was born and raised in Weatherford within the shadow of SWOSU. Both her parents taught at SWOSU with her father serving as chair of the Biology Department and mother teaching in the Home Economics Department. Additional family members have deep connections to SWOSU.
“I am honored the RUSO board has appointed me as the next president of SWOSU, and I look forward to partnering with the entire western Oklahoma community to further strengthen our educational system,” Lovell said. “I am passionate about building innovative programs and alliances with key stakeholders to grow the economy of western Oklahoma and the enrollment of SWOSU while forging connections with the community.”
Lovell has a B.A. in Education from Baylor University in 1989, a M.A. in History from the University of Houston in 1992 and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Houston in 2003. In addition to being at Blinn College District, Lovell has served as Dean of the College of Arts & Humanities at Houston Baptist University.
Lovell has two children—Josh and Elizabeth.
Lovell becomes the 18th president of SWOSU, which was founded in 1901.