<< Back to all News

Ottawa University Announces Formation of Leadership Team for Surprise Campus

SURPRISE, Arizona (May 17, 2017) – Ottawa University Arizona (OUAZ) continues to bolster its presence in the state and the nation with the formation of the leadership team for its newest residential campus in Surprise. OUAZ announced in February that it will welcome the first class of students to its new, 35-acre residential campus this fall. It is currently enrolling students. The 152-year-old private, nonprofit Christian university was founded in Ottawa, Kansas and opened its first campus in Arizona in 1977.
 
OUAZ offers a variety of academic programs, along with more than 30 student activities and associations at the Surprise campus. Ottawa’s academic programs fall under four Schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the Angell Snyder School of Business, the School of Education and the School of Health and Applied Sciences.
 
“We’re thrilled to be welcoming the inaugural class of students to our new residential campus in Surprise this fall,” says OUAZ Provost Dennis J. Tyner, Ph.D. “These students will help shape the culture and traditions that will serve as the foundation for this new university community. At OUAZ, we take an innovative ‘whole person’ approach, ensuring we are developing work-ready graduates. We can’t wait to start shaping the lives of the students from our inaugural class.”
 
Members of the OUAZ leadership team include:
 
Kevin C. Eichner, President – An accomplished strategic planning facilitator and change agent, Eichner was named the 21st president of OU in March 2008. He has been a member of the OU board of trustees since 1982, including leading as chairman for five years. The university has experienced significant growth and exceptional student outcomes during his tenure. Previously, Eichner served as president, CEO and vice chairman of Missouri-based Enterprise Financial Services Corporation, the parent company of Enterprise Bank & Trust, where he designed and launched Enterprise University with workshops for executives and nonprofit leaders. As co-founder of Enterprise, Eichner served as CEO for six years. Prior to his work at Enterprise, he served as executive vice president and then CEO of General American/MetLife for five years. In 1983, he founded Collaborative Strategies, Inc., which provided consultation services to for-profit and nonprofit organizations prior to its acquisition by General American in 1997. Eichner is a 1973 graduate of Ottawa University with a B.A. in social change and also earned an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 1977. He has led numerous business and organizational workshops and written extensively on leadership and organizational change.
 
Dennis J. Tyner, Ph.D, Provost – Prior to accepting the role of Vice President and Provost of Ottawa University Arizona, Dr. Tyner served as Provost of the residential college in Ottawa, Kansas since January 2007. Previously, he was the dean of The David Crawford School of Engineering at Norwich University in Vermont, the oldest private military college in the U.S. He has also worked in admissions, undergraduate program development, facilities operations, student activities and athletics. He served as a textbook reviewer for Prentice Hall and authored two solutions manuals for electric circuits textbooks. He has taught at the collegiate level for more than 20 years. Dr. Tyner earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston in 1985, 1986 and 1992, respectively. He has published several research articles and presented at national and international conferences. 
 
Kevin Steele, Director of Athletics – Steele comes to OUAZ after serving as director of athletics for more than eight years at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, where his involvement in various athletic programs led to multiple titles and awards. Prior to his tenure at MNU, Steele was director of athletics at California Baptist University in Riverside, where he oversaw a program of 22 teams. His extensive involvement in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) will help move OUAZ – home to 21 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams – forward in its plans to receive NAIA and NCCAA (National Christian College Athletics Association) designation. Steele began his administrative career at the University of Oklahoma. Previously, he was a basketball coach at the high school and collegiate levels, including serving as an assistant coach at Grand Canyon University. He has twice been honored as National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Athletic Director of the Year (2002 and 2015). He was also honored as the 2015-2016 Heart of America Athletics Director of the Year.
 
Keith Johnson, Chief Operating Officer – Johnson joined Ottawa University in April 2000 following a 15-year career in banking. Prior to serving as vice-president of loan servicing at Metropolitan Federal Bank,, he was assistant vice president of Columbia Savings Association in Emporia, Kansas. Johnson has held numerous posts at the University, including business manager, accounts receivable operations manager and COO of the Ottawa, Kansas residential campus. As COO of OUAZ, his responsibilities include overseeing operations of all Arizona campuses, enrollment management, risk management and the construction of the new residential campus in Surprise. Johnson is a graduate of Ottawa University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and management.
 
Amy Hogan, Ph.D., Dean, School of Education and Arizona –Since 2004, Dr. Hogan has served in several leadership positions at Ottawa University. She now joins the new OUAZ team bringing her extensive background in education. She earned a B.S. in elementary education with a concentration in vocal music and a Master of Liberal Arts from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. She earned her Ph.D. with a specialization in advanced classroom instruction from Capella University in Minneapolis. Her experience includes mission coordination, teaching, small business development, grant writing, accreditation review leadership, state and national task-forces for teacher preparation, and technology education. Dr. Hogan has presented and consulted at numerous regional and education conferences.
 
Brandon Fowler, Dean of Student Experience – Fowler brings more than 15 years of experience in higher education and student experience to OUAZ. Prior to his current position, he ran one of the largest data sets in the U.S., addressing key elements of student engagement and design of the student experience. Fowler also led corporate enrollment at the University of Phoenix and enrollment operations for healthcare and education programs for the university’s Midwest region. He holds an M.B.A. from University of Phoenix.
 
David M. Barnes, Ed.D., Executive Director of University Advancement – Barnes has more than 32 years of experience in higher education, business and ministry leadership, including 24 years in nonprofit organizations. Prior to OUAZ, he served as senior vice president for partnership relations for Johnson-Huffman Fundraising Strategists; president of Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska; executive vice president and founding dean of the School of Adult Learning at Arizona Christian University; and associate vice president for adult programs at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior roles at Ottawa University include dean of the School of Education, vice president of enrollment management and of adult and professional studies, and provost. Barnes earned his Doctor of Education from Spalding University. His current position at OU oversees external relations, resourcing, new markets and spiritual life.
 

About Ottawa University
Founded in 1865, Ottawa University prepares professional and liberal arts graduates for lifetimes of personal significance, vocational fulfillment and service to God and humanity as a Christ-inspired community of grace and open inquiry. Ottawa University is a comprehensive, nonprofit educational institution serving more than 4,000 students on its residential campuses in Ottawa, Kansas and Surprise, Arizona (opening fall 2017). Other adult campuses include Overland Park, Kansas; Phoenix, Queen Creek and Surprise, Arizona; Brookfield, Wisconsin; and Jeffersonville, Indiana. Online classes are also offered. For more information, visit ottawa.edu.