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Dr. Thomas W. Newsom

The Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) Board of Regents named Dr. Thomas Newsom president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University on January 31, 2020.

He assumed  his duties as the University’s 21st president on April 30, 2020.

For the past two years, Newsom served as Interim Vice President for Student Success and Dean of Students at Texas A&M-Commerce. Prior to that, he was president of Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, New Mexico, which saw a significant increase in enrollment and improved graduation rates during his five-year tenure. While at Mesalands, he also served as Chair of the President’s Academy Executive Committee of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

Prior to assuming the presidency at Mesalands, Newsom served in numerous capacities for 13 years at The Art Institutes, including a six-year stint as president of The Art Institute of Dallas and four years as Vice Chancellor at South University.

He earned  a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of North Texas, an M.S. in Higher Education from Texas A&M-Commerce, and a B.A. in Business Administration from Austin College.

President Newsom and his wife Vicky have three children, Will, Katie, and John.

University Vision

Southeastern will be a leader and innovator in higher education.
Strong academic and student life programs with a solid liberal arts and sciences foundation will characterize the University. Areas such as diversity, globalization, uniqueness, and cultural richness will be distinctive features of the institution.


  • Promote student enrichment experiences
  • Expand beyond our regional image
  • Optimize the learning environment
  • Enhance collaboration and partnerships
  • Five Strategic Goals
  • Academic Excellence

Southeastern will have validated academic programs, based on a strong liberal arts and sciences core, which meet the changing demands of the 21st century through the recruitment and retention of highly qualified, diverse faculty that stays current in their field through active scholarship.

Program validation will be through external accreditations, competitions, nation benchmarking, assessment, and other types of recognition.

The faculty, staff, and administration will work with the student body to enhance Southeastern’s strengths of connectedness and familial relationships by emphasizing personal attention to the individual needs of all parties.

Academic excellence will facilitate the recruitment of a well-qualified student body and the acquisition of external resources.

Seventy five percent of all courses taught and credit hours produced within each school will be taught by full-time faculty.

Faculty, staff, administration and students will work to create an educational culture that supports civic engagement through community based problem solving.

Diversity and Cultural Competence
Southeastern will have established a nurturing environment and programming that attracts, actively recruits, and retains a university community of faculty, staff, and students with diverse national, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.

Southeastern will have made major progress in developing a “state of the art” campus to meet the teaching/learning goals of the university.

Southeastern will double its resources from private funding sources, grants and contracts, and collaboration/partnerships with external constituents. Moreover, Southeastern’s academic programs and their support areas will be the principal driving force for the allocation of resources to deliver all programs at a level which encourages national recognition.

Recruitment and Retention
Southeastern will increase its enrollment to 5000 by optimizing recruitment/retention strategies and by expanding its mission beyond its traditional service area through alternative delivery formats and new delivery sites.