Faculty Hall of Fame Award 1999
Dr. Donald S. Phillips
Dr. Donald S. Phillips' dedication to his career in education is evident in his philosophy of teaching.
"Teaching is the primary function of educational institutions. Every activity of the organization should be directed toward the improvement of instruction," Phillips says. "My heart is filled with joy when I recall the diverse population of students served by Cameron. During my years at Cameron I saw many students overcome a myriad of obstacles to obtain their educational objectives."
Born in 1932 at Choska, he graduated from Haskell High School then entered the Army serving in Japan and Korea with Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Division in 1950-52. After his military service, he enrolled at Oklahoma State University where he received a bachelors in industrial arts education, a masters in technical education, and a doctorate of education with a major in technical education.
After obtaining his bachelor's degree in 1957, he was a structural designer at Aero-Commander, Inc. in Norman for four years. In 1961 to 1964, he taught at Capitol Hill High School where he started a technical drafting and design program.
Phillips began his higher education teaching career in 1964 while working toward his doctoral degree at OSU advancing from instructor to professor and department head in technical education. He was also the coordinator of graduate studies for the School of Occupational and Adult Education. He served as an advisor to approximately 30 undergraduate and 15 masters degree candidates each year. He prepared proposals, secured funding and conducted fifteen research and training projects with budgets ranging from $5,000 to $500,000 from state and federal agencies and the country of Brazil.
In 1968 he was on leave from OSU to serve as project coordinator of the Bio-Medical Equipment Technology Curriculum Development Project for the Technical Education Research Center headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
His career at Cameron began in 1979 as dean of instruction. In 1980 he became dean of academic affairs with the responsibility of planning, budgeting and administration of the university's academic program. Other responsibilities included coordination of the activities of the library, admissions and records, research, and management of data processing in support of the university's academic mission.
Phillips moved to the department of technology serving as chair and professor in 1983-1989. During this period, the department won two National Science Foundation Grants and advanced its leadership in technical education. His concern for the lack of student excellence in written communication skills resulted in the promotion of Writing Across the Curriculum as a campus-wide activity. He was also involved in planning, implementing and teaching in tele-course programs.
He became associate provost in 1989 until his retirement in 1997. Responsibilities included educational outreach, general education, university assessment, interdisciplinary studies degree programs, faculty development and staff development.
He has been author and coauthor of numerous publications and made presentations primarily in the areas of research, leadership and curriculum development.
During the 1960s, Phillips was influential in organizing the Oklahoma Technical Society and has been a board member and journal editor. He is a recipient of its highest award for education excellence, the Joe Ables Award. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Vocational Association; American Technical Education Association, serving as a trustee; American Vocation Association; and Phi Kappa Phi. He has been a consultant evaluator for North Central Association since 1972.