The Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award


Dr. James H. Boggs
Emeritus Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research, OSU

James H. Boggs

Dr. James H. Boggs

Dr. James H. Boggs completed more than 48 years of service to Oklahoma State University as a faculty member and administrator, and retired as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research in 1991, having served as a chief academic officer longer than anyone in the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

He was born in Beaumont, Texas, but grew up in Barnsdall. He received his B.S. with distinction in 1943 and M.S. in 1948, both in mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University. He received his Ph.D. in thermodynamics and heat transfer from Purdue University in 1953, and in 1955 took part in the summer Nuclear Energy Institute at Argonne National Laboratory.

Following service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he returned to OSU, where he was head of the School of Mechanical Engineering from 1957-65.

In 1965 he assumed the position of dean of the OSU Graduate College, only the third person in the history of the institution to hold that post. One year later he was named Vice President for Academic Affairs, and in 1977 became Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research. He was designated as acting president of the university several times since 1966, and was interim president for periods during 1977 and 1988.

Many programs and organizations now in place at OSU are the result of his leadership as vice president, and include the Office of Institutional Research, the Department of Computer Science, the required core of general education, and the founding of the University Honors Program.

Dr. Boggs was instrumental in developing and implementing long-range plans for management at the university, including the development of a mission statement, philosophy and goals for OSU. He also established a University Instructional Improvement Program that included the University Center for Effective Instruction, a program that attracted national recognition and serves today as a prototype.

He launched a General Studies Committee and the Academic Appeals Board. In the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, he worked to develop the research center concept, and helped establish an Environmental Institute and Water Research Center, a University Center for Energy Research, and the University Center for Laser Research. He organized and sponsored the first OSU Research Day, an event that brought together research faculty with leaders in industry, education and government.

Dr. Boggs has served as a member of the Council on instruction of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the National Advisory Research Resources Council of the National Institutes of Health, and as a member of President's Committee on the National Medal of Science of the National Science foundation. He served for twenty years as a trustee for the Oklahoma Center for Science and the Arts, Inc.; as a executive director and member of the Oklahoma State University Education and Research Foundation; and twice as director of National Science Foundation Summer Institutes in Heat Transfer and Gas Dynamics.

From 1986-87, he chaired the Math and Science High School Task Force. His academic honors include Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, Sigma Tau, Pi Tau Sigma, and Blue Key. He is listed in "Who's Who in America," Who's Who in American Education," "Who's Who in Engineering," "American Men of Science," and "Who's Who in the South and Southwest."

His service to the Stillwater community encompasses the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Community Relations Committee, YMCA and the Rotary Club.

Dr. Boggs has received certificates of appreciation from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology and the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. He has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

He is married to the former Jimmie Lea Evans, and they are the parents of three children, Carolyn Jan, James Harlow III, and Steven Evans.

Year of Award: 1994