Diana Watkins appointed as 15th president for NOC

May 29, 2024

The Northern Oklahoma College Board of Regents appointed Diana Watkins as the 15th president in NOC history on Wednesday, May 22, at the BOR meeting in Enid.

The appointment is pending completion of administrative paperwork.

Watkins, who currently serves as the interim president and vice president for academic affairs will officially start her tenure as president June 1.

“The Board of Regents are excited that Diana (Watkins) has accepted the offer as the president of Northern Oklahoma College,” said NOC Board of Regent Chair Brad Fox. “We’d also like to relay our appreciation to the NOC faculty, staff, and community during the interview process. We know that Diana and the NOC community have a great future ahead of us.”

Watkins said, “I am very grateful the Regents have entrusted me with the opportunity to serve the college in this capacity. Our tag line at NOC is Life Changing, and for me that is much more than just a catchy phrase on our materials. My father’s community college experience changed the trajectory of his life, and therefore of mine. I’m excited to work with our amazing staff, faculty, and executive council to more efficiently and effectively provide those Life Changing experiences for our students.”

A graduate of Perry High School, she went on to earn an Honors Program Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English Education at Oklahoma State University where she also earned her Master’s Degree in Teaching Learning and Leadership and is currently a doctoral student in Higher Education and Student Affairs.

Watkins began her career in education teaching high school English in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Her move to post-secondary education came in 2000 when she joined the Oklahoma State University Honors Program, now Honors College, as an academic counselor before spending four years as an “early childhood educator,” taking on the role of full-time mom until her daughter began pre-K.

Watkins’s tenure at NOC began in the Language Arts Department on the Stillwater campus. In 2007 she was named the Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Member for NOC Stillwater. After joining the Language Arts Department full-time in 2007, she was named the Distinguished Faculty Member for NOC Stillwater in 2009. In 2019 she took on the role of Vice President for the Stillwater campus, heading up the NOC/OSU Gateway Program. Extremely passionate about student success, Watkins served on the task force that developed NOC’s First Gen Mentor Program, a program designed to assist students who are the first in their families to attend college. She has presented at numerous conferences, including the National Association of Developmental Education Conference and the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Watkins was recently appointed by Chancellor Allison Garrett to the State Regents’ Campus Safety & Security Task Force.

A graduate of Leadership Stillwater Class XXVIII, Watkins served on the Stillwater Public Education Foundation Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Friends of the Honors College at OSU.

Watkins enjoys practicing yoga, running, reading, writing, and attending concerts and theatre performances. Her daughter, Emma, an NOC alumni and recent graduate of Mounty Holyoke College, works as a visitor services associate at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.