Tulsa Community College (TCC) experienced layoffs and structural reorganization due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of that, TCC Metro Campus provost’s position became vacant, and Kristopher Copeland was invited to move from Texas to work as the new Metro Campus Provost. TCC Connection editor, Tatyana Nyborg, interviewed Dr. Copeland about his career and vision for the Metro Campus.
Which degrees do you hold?
I hold Ph.D. in Public Policy-Higher Education Emphasis, a Master of Arts in Communication Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, and Associate’s degree in Speech/Theater.
Where did you work before the TCC?
Before I started at TCC, I was dean of Liberal Arts at North Lake College in Irving, Texas. I worked there for two years. Prior to that, I was a faculty member at Northeastern State University for nine years.
How long are you with the TCC?
I started at TCC in June 2019 as the West Campus provost.
What programs are offered at the Metro Campus?
A student can earn their AA and AS degree along with a variety of specialized Allied Health and Nursing degrees. Additionally, a student can complete certificate programs along with continuing education courses.
What are your visions for the future of the Metro Campus?
Our mission at TCC is to build success through education in order to support an educated, employed, and thriving community. I want to support faculty and staff as they implement this mission in their work in order for students to be successful. During this pandemic, I have seen first-hand how faculty and staff have creatively worked to ensure our students are foremost in all of our work. I want to continue to be creative in how we deliver instruction in our new normal and support everyone working with students.
It was not easy to prepare the Metro Campus for reopening due to
COVID-19. How did the campus employees overcome the obstacles?
There are a variety of changes that you can physically see all around campus, such as the thermal scanners at entrances, clearly marked entrances and exits, classrooms in our largest spaces, etc. However, there are a variety of “invisible” elements we have implemented, such as air flow in classrooms, hospital grade air filters, and touchless fixtures in bathrooms. All of this together is a way to maintain the health and safety of our campus community. Many thanks to all the work that has been happening across the college in order to make this happen, from our facilities and maintenance crews to our risk management employees.
Do you have other responsibilities besides being a provost?
I have college-wide responsibilities in addition to my role at Metro. I oversee the Schools of Nursing, Allied Health, and Engaged Learning. Additionally, I provide oversight for the Online Learning Division, Dual Credit Program, and Academic Assessment.