Faculty & Staff

ELA Faculty

Dr. Gretchen M. Bataille
Dr. Gretchen M. Bataille

Dr. Gretchen M. Bataille provides advice and guidance to higher education leaders and non-profit organizations in the United States and abroad that are seeking new approaches to leadership, organizational change or assessment.  Her long career in higher education has included a variety of positions from department chair to university president and, most recently, as the Senior Vice President for the American Council on Education, the preeminent membership association for over 1800 colleges and universities.  In her various roles, she has taught, mentored, managed over $15 M in grants, and has consulted in higher education both in the United States and abroad.

Before becoming president of the University of North Texas, a research university with over 36,000 students, Dr. Bataille served as an administrator at Arizona State University, University of California Santa Barbara, Washington State University and the University of North Carolina system.   Her academic experiences include nearly twenty years as a faculty member at Iowa State University, a one-year appointment as interim chancellor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and ten months of consulting at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

Dr. Bataille, whose scholarly specialization is American Indian literature, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California Polytechnic State University and her doctorate in English from Drake University. Her publications include reviews, articles, academic papers, and numerous books in her field. She is the co-author with Betsy Brown of the book, Faculty Career Paths: Multiple Routes to Academic Success and Satisfaction and the book written with her ACE colleague Diana Cordova,  Managing the Unthinkable: Crisis Preparation and Response for Campus Leaders provides advice on campus crises.  Bataille has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The College Board as well as a Board member for ACE.  She is a member of the Board of Directors for SAGE Publications and serves on the Board of Trustees for Drake University. Bataille serves as president of the consulting firm, GMB Consulting Group, LLC and is a strategic partner with ROI Consulting Group.

Dr. R. Kent Crookston  
Dr. R. Kent Crookston

Author of Working with Problem Faculty: A Six-Step Guide for Department Chairs

R. Kent Crookston’s Ph.D. in plant physiology is from the University of Minnesota. He held post-doctoral positions with Agriculture Canada and Cornell University, then researched and taught at the University of Minnesota for twenty-five years. He was head of the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at Minnesota (1990–1998), and dean of the College of Biology and Agriculture at Brigham Young University (BYU) (1998–2005). Since 2007 he has directed the Academic Administrative Support Program at the BYU Faculty Center. In addition to researching academic administration he researches and teaches effective decision making. He has written numerous professional and popular articles on various subjects, and on four occasions won the Excellence in Agricultural Journalism Award from the American Society of Agronomy.

From 1988 to 2002 Crookston was the founding director of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (a research and educational partnership of faculty, farmers, politicians, and activist groups). At Minnesota he co-founded a national program on researching and teaching decision cases in agriculture and directed an undergraduate educational reform project with a grant from the McKnight Foundation. At BYU he directed a complete reinvention and restructuring of the college of 100 faculty and 2,500 students.

Crookston served as resident coordinator (1984–1986) of a USAID development project in Morocco (assisting in the establishment of a major agricultural university). From 1999 to 2007 he co-directed a project to improve the health and economy of a rural region in the Middle Atlas Mountains. He has consulted with research and educational institutions in Armenia, Ecuador, England, France, Ghana, Mexico, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, the Philippines, Rwanda, and Senegal.

Crookston is a fellow of the Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy, and the holder, since 1999, of an honorary professorship at the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, in Rabat, Morocco.


Dr. Jeff King

Jeff King, Ed.D., is Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. His research and application interests have long focused on what college faculty can do to help their students learn, to be motivated toward deep learning strategies, and to persist in their educations. Dr. King works to provide information and tools shown by quality, applicable research to help students succeed, whether via cutting edge approaches or time‑tested strategies. Because evaluating one’s success at helping students learn is important for becoming a better teacher‑scholar, Jeff is also interested in ways faculty can gather feedback about their teaching and use it to fine‑tune their effectiveness. Before moving to UCO’s Transformative Learning‑focused environment, Jeff was the Director of Texas Christian University’s Koehler Center for Teaching Effectiveness. No matter his location, though, his work over the years both as college faculty member and in faculty professional development matches passion to position in helping students learn.



Steve Kreidler

Steve KreidlerSteve Kreidler serves as the chief financial officer and oversees the departments of budget, finance, facilities and human resources at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado.

A seasoned finance and economic development expert with 30 years of experience, Kreidler served at the University Of Central Oklahoma (UCO), 2001-2013, as vice president of administration and most recently executive vice president. Prior to that, he was the executive director of the Edmond Economic Development Authority for nearly a decade.

A native of Tulsa, OK, Steve and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Business Administration and has an MBA from Oklahoma Christian University.  He completed the Institute of Education Management program through the Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as the prestigious Oxford Roundtable.

Contact at skreidl1@msudenver.edu


Dr. James Machell
Dr. James Machell

Jim’s professional career began in 1974 teaching primarily 4th grade students at Ridgeview Elementary School in the Oklahoma City Pubic School District where he remained until 1985. In 1985, Jim was encouraged by Father Jack Petuskey of St. Francis of Assisi Parish to pursue the vacant principal position at Rosary School. He served the St. Francis/Rosary Community as principal between 1985 and 1992. In 1992, Jim began his career in higher education, accepting a faculty appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of Wyoming. In 1997, Jim accepted a position as a faculty member and program coordinator for a statewide cooperative doctoral program in educational leadership at Central Missouri State University where he served in various capacities, including department chair, until 2005. In 2005, he returned to his home state of Oklahoma accepting the position of dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he continues to serve in that capacity.


Dr. Rita Murray

Dr. Rita MurrayRita is a first generation American (dual citizen of Ireland), Baby Boomer, certified speaking professional (CSP), national energy and sustainability expert, social media producer, executive coach, and private pilot. She has worked in leadership positions at General Electric (GE), Martin Marietta, Lockheed Martin, and The University of Oklahoma.

Rita is CEO of Performance Consulting (PC) an organizational development firm. In addition to national business and commercial clients, her educational and healthcare clients include: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M, University of Texas, University of Oklahoma, University of Missouri,

Assisted Living Association of America, Mercy Memorial Healthcare System, St. Joseph's Hospital of Chicago, OU Medical Center, Rehab Services of Washington State and Missouri State, and multiple State Boards of Health, to name a few.

Rita's perspective on the future workforce, educational, aviation, and healthcare challenges and student/faculty/administration issues is provocative and insightful. She is the author/co-author of six books/DVD/courses:

1.  Murray, Rita M, (2003), Survive and Thrive in a Multi-Generational World

2.  Murray, Rita M., (2004) Talking About Our Generations

3.  Murray, Rita M, and Rutledge, Hile D., (2005) Make Time Work For You

4.  Murray, Rita M., (2008) Mentoring Matters

5.   Murray, Rita M. and Rutledge, Hile D., (2009) Generations: Bridging the Gap With Type

6.   Murray, Rita M. and Rutledge, Hile D., (2011) Communication Challenges with Millennials: How to Bridge the Gap with Type

7.   Murray, Rita M., (2011) GeoMentoring for the Geosciences

Completing a Ph.D. in Instructional Psychology and Technology at the University of Oklahoma, Rita's research interests include metacognition, self-awareness, higher order thinking, and cooperative engagement.

Rita and her husband, Ron, reside in Norman, Oklahoma. Ron is the President of PCG Worldwide, an energy services company. He is also a 13,000+ hour active pilot and a highly decorated Vietnam War Veteran including the Distinguished Flying Cross. As the volunteer Oklahoma State Director for the Bill Glass Champions for Life Prison Ministry, they also fly worldwide for and with the prison ministry.


Dr. Cheryl Steele
Dr. Cheryl Steele

Cheryl Steele served as Superintendent of the Midwest City-Del City Public Schools 11 years and has held public school and university adjunct positions in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Mustang, the University of Oklahoma, and Southern Nazarene University.

Dr. Steele has held a variety of leadership positions, including the presidencies of the Oklahoma Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Oklahoma School Public Relations Association, and the Oklahoma Middle Level Education Association as well as serving on the board of Leadership Oklahoma, Great Expectations, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Schools for Healthy Lifestyles, Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, Junior Achievement, and the Oklahoma Commission for Educational Leadership.  She has been a frequent speaker and trainer and has authored over 25 articles and documents for statewide and national audiences.

Dr. Steele has been recognized by the University of Oklahoma as one of the initial "75 Who Made a Difference" in Oklahoma education, by the Cooperative Council for School Administrators as Superintendent of the Year for Oklahoma and as Superintendent of the Year by the Oklahoma Music Educators, and the Oklahoma PTA.  She received the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Award for Excellence in School Administration, the Oklahoma School Public Relations Association Partner for Excellence Award and the OASCD Leadership Award, as well as being named Alpha Delta Kappa's Woman of the Year.

Dr. Steele earned her B.A. in Education from Central State University in 1971 and Masters Degree in Education from Central State University in 1974.  She received her Doctorate in 1984 from the University of Oklahoma.


Dr. Shanna Teel

Shanna TeelShanna R. Teel is the Founder and CEO of Dr. Shanna Teel & Company, Inc., a performance consulting and coaching firm. In Dr. Teel's career, she has been a partner and executive for two organizational and leadership development consulting firms. She holds a dual Ph.D. in organizational psychology and clinical psychology, coupled with more than 12 years as a consultant, executive coach, and facilitator of adult learning.

She specializes in the areas of executive and leadership development, executive and management coaching, career development, strategic planning, conflict management, diversity training, team building, group dynamics, communication skill development, negotiation, mediation, and business development.

She has provided organization development consulting, team development, and individual coaching for executives and managers in the following organizations: Citigroup; Kodak; Nokia; Fugihunt, USA; Deloitte & Touche; TA Instruments; Eiasi Pharmaceuticals; McDonald's; St. Luke's Health Network; Interwoven; ARM; Victoria's Secret; Barclays Global Investors; Devon Energy; Vitas Hospice; The Braille Institute; University of Oklahoma; Oklahoma Heart Hospital; University of California San Diego Hospital.


Dr. Christy Vincent
Christy Vincent

Dr. Christy Vincent is an Assistant Professor in the Mass Communication Department at the University of Central Oklahoma where she teaches interpersonal, organizational and corporate communication courses. Her research interests include conflict management, mediation, change management, and training and development. Her interest in conflict management led her to the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law where she earned a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Her doctoral research focused on public school teachers' experiences of conflict. Her dissertation, "Understanding Teachers' Accounts of Conflicts in Public School Settings: An Ethnographically-based, Ethnomethodological Investigation," received the University of Oklahoma Dissertation Prize in the Social Sciences and Humanities. In addition to the university award, the OU Department of Communication also awarded the Ragan-Kramer-Wieder Qualitative Dissertation Award to Christy.

Besides her college teaching, she has taught continuing education courses for public school teachers in Oklahoma through the Great Expectations Institute.

Christy's professional experience is in management, sales and product development in private industry. She most recently served as an internal organizational effectiveness consultant for INTEGRIS Health, where her projects included management and staff training, leadership development, 360-degree assessment, employee opinion surveys, strategic planning, HR metrics and New Employee Orientation. One of the teaching tools used in training programs, a learning map titled Serving Our Community, won the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Award of Excellence in the category of Experiential Learning.

She also works as a consultant to help groups and organizations with strategic planning, conflict management, communication needs assessment, problem-solving and leadership development. Her favorite group problem-solving method is Appreciative Inquiry.

She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Houston, both in communication, and a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communication from Oklahoma Christian University.

Contact at cvincent2@uco.edu


ELA Staff

Cary Williams
Educator's Leadership Academy Director
Cary Williams

Contact Us
Educators’ Leadership Academy
University of Central Oklahoma

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Edmond, OK 73034
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