Richland College will soon welcome a new executive vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Success. Richland President, Kay Eggleston, announced the selection of Vice President, Dr. Shannon K. Cunningham. She was approved by the Board of Trustees on Nov. 8 and will take office on Jan. 2, 2018.
Cunningham’s selection for the position was based on her comprehensive academic, leadership and service background, which impressed the Richland Committee Board.
“Pending Board approval, I know you will in true Thunderduck fashion, rise up, Richland and join with me in warmly welcoming Dr. Shannon K. Cunningham as she enters her newest era of senior-level servant leadership in support of student success at Richland College,” Eggleston said in her announcement email.
Cunningham earned her associate degree in agriculture from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. She continued her pursuit of higher academic achievement with a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Education in workforce development education at the University of Arkansas and her Ph.D. in agriculture education and leadership at Oklahoma State University.
Cunningham began her career in higher education at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College as an agricultural faculty member. She then entered an administrative leadership role as a department chair.
During her time at Northeastern Oklahoma, Cunningham advanced to assistant vice president for Academic Affairs and director of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Grove Campus.
Her responsibilities included development and evaluation of academic curriculum, institutional policies and long-range planning in student success initiatives, assessment and evaluation, academic affairs, developmental education, and curriculum development at the institutional, regional and state levels.
Cunningham also served as an institutional researcher, which included service as a Higher Learning Commission accreditation team leader and strategic planning team leader. In this position, she was responsible for supervision, direction and management of the Grove Campus.
She also gained experience in successfully engaging faculty and staff in innovative instructional development practices and integration of non-instructional student support activities demonstrating successful leadership in initiatives to improve student success outcomes.
Prior to her selection as Richland Vice President, Cunningham served as vice president at Northern Oklahoma College Stillwater Campus, a community college in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Her senior-level leadership there advanced the areas of academic and student services, enrollment management and recruitment, testing, tutoring, student conduct, disability services, and campus safety.
Cunningham has also provided oversight and direction in new capital construction of a $22 million facility, assisted in writing a successful multimillion dollar Department of Education Title III grant for Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTI).
She served as chair of the Northern Oklahoma College NASNTI Internal Monitoring Committee, and an administrative member on the institutional preparation team for the Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit.
Cunningham has also participated in the League for Innovation’s Executive Leadership Institute, the Higher Learning Commission Assessment Academy, and the Oklahoma Agriculture Delegation to Azerbaijan.
In addition to her academic and service contributions, Cunningham has joined many professional and community affiliations including the Oklahoma Women in Higher Education executive board; Stillwater Chamber of Commerce; Miami Rotary Club; Oklahoma Agriculture Leadership Program, Class XV; and Payne County Youth Services volunteer as well.