Martha Banz, PhD, is dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies (OU Extended Campus). Banz served as interim dean of the college for three years before being appointed as permanent dean in February 2020. Banz also serves as associate provost for continuing education. As dean and associate provost, she gives oversight for the college’s curricular portfolio of 30 degree and certificate tracks and delivery of its programs and courses to more than 8,000 degree-seeking students and 25,000 lifelong learners annually. Under her leadership, the college has achieved and maintained a “Top 15” U.S. News and World Report ranking in multiple categories (online bachelor’s, online graduate criminal justice, online veterans, online criminal justice for veterans) for the last five years.
In addition to serving as dean and associate provost, Banz serves as executive director of the FAA Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance (COE-TTHP). She has co-led the work of the 25 university and 50+ industry partners involved in this R1/R2 research consortium which performs basic and applied research in support of workforce development in aviation and aerospace, specifically focusing on the technical training needs of pilots, air traffic controllers, safety inspectors and technicians. The center has received cumulative funding of over $16 million for the 80 projects pursued since its inception in 2016.
Previously, Banz served as professor of psychology, dean of arts and sciences, and vice-provost of the Undergraduate College at Southern Nazarene University, and as associate dean for the College of Liberal Studies (2010-2016) at OU. As associate dean of OU’s College of Liberal Studies, Banz significantly expanded the college’s online degree offerings and nearly doubled its enrollments.
Banz holds an MS and PhD in quantitative psychology from OU and has more than 30 years of experience successfully founding and administering complex “nontraditional” programs that serve adult learners through online, on-site, and blended formats. She holds honor society membership in Psi Chi, Sigma Xi, and Phi Delta Lambda and is a member of the Executive Committee for the Brock International Prize in Education Innovation. Banz is a past president of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, having also served as chair of the editorial board for Confluence,its peer-reviewed journal. She is regularly sought out as a program reviewer and consultant for institutions seeking to enhance their work in adult education and nontraditional, online and distance learning. Currently, she is consulting with the Higher Learning Commission as they revamp their accreditation support service offerings. Her current research interests focus on the complex synergy between intentionality, habit formation, and automaticity in leadership development.