Southeastern News

Three former professors to be honored at Homecoming

Ken Chinn

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Homecoming 2018 on October 11-13.

As part of the activities, three retired professors – Dr. Kenneth Chinn, Dr. Jane Elder, and Dr. Kenneth Elder – will be honored with the Distinguished Former Faculty Award.

They will be recognized at the Distinguished Awards Banquet, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12, at 5:30 p.m. in the Visual & Performing Arts Center. The three recipients combined for 103 years of teaching service at Southeastern.

Dr. Ken Chinn joined the Southeastern faculty in 1982 and retired 29 years later as Professor Emeritus of Economics.

In addition to his teaching duties (banking, finance and economics, as well as teaching Honors economics for 15 years), Chinn held several leadership roles on campus, including Faculty Senate President, 2009-2011; Chair, Department of Economics and Finance, 1993-2001; Chair, Department of Social Sciences, 2003-2010; Faculty sponsor of the Oklahoma Theta Chapter of Alpha Chi, 28 years; and President of Region II of Alpha Chi, 1994-96.

Chinn was also the recipient of a number of honors and awards during his tenure at Southeastern, including Faculty Senate Award for Outstanding Teaching, School of Business, 1993-94; Faculty Senate Award for Excellence in Service, School of Business, 2000-2001; and elected member of Alpha Chi National College Honor Scholarship Society, 1994.

He is a long-time fan of Southeastern athletics, in particular, basketball.

Originally from Hotchkiss, Colorado, Chinn holds a doctorate of philosophy in economics and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Colorado State University.

He and his wife, Kay, a Southeastern graduate, reside in Durant.

Ken Elder

The other two Distinguished Former Faculty Award recipients are husband and wife Ken and Jane Elder.

Dr. Jane Elder began her career at Southeastern in 1975 and retired 36 years later as Assistant Professor Emeritus of Sociology.

Jane Elder

A native of Wellington, Kansas, Elder graduated from Enid (Oklahoma) High School. She was involved on campus as a Faculty Senate Representative; Faculty Senate Planning Committee Chair; and as secretary of the General Education Council.

Elder was also active with the Wesley Foundation Advisory Board and First Christian Church.

She cites the mentoring of students as her greatest accomplishment at Southeastern.

Elder holds a doctorate in secondary and higher education from Texas A&M-Commerce and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from Oklahoma State University.

She and her husband enjoy retirement by spending time with grandchildren.

Dr. Ken Elder also began teaching at Southeastern in 1975 and served for 38 years. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Sociology.

While at Southeastern, Elder served on the Honors Advisory Board and taught the Honors Introduction to Sociology course.

Elder served on or chaired 20-plus university committees, and was a member of the Faculty Senate for 15 years, three of which were as chair. He also was Kappa Sigma fraternity advisor.

Under Elder’s leadership as chair, the Faculty Senate worked through such issues as shared governance, faculty compensation, and community service.

He was the recipient of numerous awards, including Faculty Senate Lifetime Achievement Award; Faculty Senate Teaching Award; and Faculty Senate Service Award.

Elder was also active in the community, serving as program advisor for Bryan County Eldercare; as a member of the Bryan County Post-Adjudication Review Board; on the board of directors of the Caddo nursing home; one of the original organizers of the Oklahoma Sociological Association; and First Christian Church.

The Stillwater native holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of North Texas and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University.

The Elders reside in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

For more information and a complete list of homecoming activities, visit

Southeastern to recognize three Distinguished Former Faculty members at Homecoming

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will honor three Distinguished Former Faculty members during Homecoming activities Oct. 24-25.

The Distinguished Awards Banquet will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24, in the Visual & Performing Arts Center.

This year’s honorees are Dr. Pat Dunham, Dr. Phil Dunham, and Dr. Robert Oliver.

Pat DunhamDr. Pat Dunham joined the Southeastern faculty in 1980 as an instructor in Elementary Education. While at Southeastern, she founded a student chapter of the Education Association, which was recognized as the outstanding chapter in Oklahoma. She also created and taught a master’s degree curriculum in Gifted Education that was added to Southeastern’s degree offerings.

Dunham was a recipient of the Burlington Northern Faculty Award in 1989. She was named Professor Emeritus in 1998, when she retired.

A graduate of  Tonkawa (Oklahoma) High School, she earned an associate’s degree from Northern Oklahoma Junior College and her bachelor’s degree from Phillips University.

Dunham taught kindergarten in Yuba and Bokchito while earning her master’s degree at Southeastern.  She received her doctorate from East Texas State University in 1984. 

Phil DunhamDr. Phil Dunham  accepted a grant to work with the Teachers Teaching Teachers (Triple T) program at Southeastern in 1969.  He then taught at Phillips University from 1970-71, only to return to Southeastern as Professor of School Administration/Psychology in 1971.  Shortly thereafter, he was accepted as a member of MENSA.

At Southeastern, Dunham  served as Director of the School Administration Program, coached the golf team, served on several North Central Accreditation Evaluation teams, presented at a National Teaching Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, and was one of 12 individuals selected by the governor to serve on the Blue Ribbon Committee on Education for the State of Oklahoma.

Dunham was named Professor Emeritus when he retired in 1989.

He grew up in northern Oklahoma, attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College, spent two years with the U.S. Medical Corps, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Central (Oklahoma) State College. Dunham  earned his master’s degree and doctorate at Oklahoma State University.


Oliver picDr. Robert Oliver served Southeastern in a number of capacities from 1984-2000. He began his career at Southeastern as Director of the Kerr Industrial Applications Center, a NASA Center operated by the University for the transfer of space technology to Business and Industry.

He also taught management and accounting at Southeastern, chaired the Business Administration and Management Department, chaired the Accounting Department, and directed the Master’s Program in Business.

Oliver grew up in southern Oklahoma near Ardmore and graduated from Springer High School. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Oklahoma State University, he earned his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at Colorado State University.

He furthered his education with an accounting degree from Southeastern and completed graduate work in accounting at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Prior to Southeastern, Oliver worked at IBM and managed a number of software development and payload analysis projects in support of the NASA Space Program.

He retired in 2000 and was named Professor Emeritus.