College of Education and Professional Studies

Dr. Ed Cunliff


Phone: (405) 974-2792

Office: CTL 221

Box: 206


  • 1983: Oklahoma University, Norman, OK; Ph.D. in Adult and Community Education, minor in Administration
  • 1974: Oklahoma University, Norman, OK; M.A. in Human Relations, emphasis in counseling and organizational development
  • 1968; University of Madrid, Spain
  • 1969: DePauw University, Greencastle, IN; B.A. in Spanish, emphasis in Education and Sociology

General Information

I’m very excited about the work I get to do here at UCO, and the field of adult and higher education. I draw on many sources, but four that may be of interest: adult learning theory, transformative learning, radical educational theory and Bloom’s taxonomy. From adult learning I take the idea that adults want to be involved, are motivated intrinsically, and bring great information and skills to the circle. Transformative learning says to me that learning is more than just gaining more knowledge and skill and that it involves an openness to change, to see and experience the world differently, to take the diversity that exists around us and to intentionally include pieces into who we are. The works of bell hooks, Paulo Freire and John Dewey are important as they remind me of the strong connection between educational process and democracy and social change. Bloom’s taxonomy describes my hope for graduate students, to move beyond memorization to higher levels of synthesis and creativity in their thought processes. These are significant elements of my philosophy of education.

While I have many hopes for students (especially reaching their educational goals), I do hope that their work with me will support them as self-directed learners and as critical thinkers. Those two skills, I believe, will greatly help them in their educational and life journeys.

I have worked in social services, training offices and in higher education for most of my career. If you are interested in training or human resource management I would suggest you put some study into the Association for Talent Development’s competency model at:

Those interested in student personnel, student affairs or enrollment management might want to look at:

I try to align with these national associations as a means of providing you with more options in your career paths.

Professional Associations

  • American Association of Adult and Continuing Education
  • American Evaluation Association
  • Association for Talent Development, Oklahoma Chapter
  • American College Personnel Association
  • Higher Education Teaching and Learnin
  • International Mind, Brain and Education Society
  • World Futures Society

Research Interests

  • Transformative Learning
  • Leadership - Authentic and Servant Leadership
  • Physical Activity and Learning
  • Higher Education practices

Special Activities and Awards

  • 2014: Possibilities Inc., Board
  • 2013: Passport to Japan, committee and Leadership class
  • 2012: Appreciation for Service, Great Plains Chapter SHRM
  • 2010: UCO Academic Affairs Service Award
  • 2008-11: Higher Learning Commission, Education and Training Advisory Committee
  • 2006: Edmond Parks and Recreation Board
  • 2003-08: National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in Higher Education, Board
  • 2002-: Edmond Land Conservancy Board
  • 2002-: Academic Quality Improvement Project Facilitator for HLC
  • 2001: Honor Roll, First-Year Student Advocate, Nat. Res. Cntr. for First-Year Experience
  • 2000: Task Force on Student Retention, Ok. State Regents for Higher Education
  • 1995-01: Edmond Human Needs Task Force
  • 1992-94: MIDAIR Board, Conference Program Chair (1993 & '94)
  • 1990: Oklahoma Association for Institutional Research and Planning, President


Over 50 publications in professional journals, booklets and a book chapter.