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VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Bethene Fahnestock to Retire

Miami, Oklahoma – Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 – NEO will soon bid farewell to Dr. Bethene Fahnestock, Vice President for Academic Affairs, following a three-decade career at NEO. Before coming to NEO, Dr. Fahnestock spent over a decade in the nursing field, working with St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, and Baptist Regional Health Center (now INTEGRIS Miami) in Miami. She joined the NEO nursing faculty in 1990.

Within four years, she was named the Division Chair of Health Sciences and Director of Nursing, a position she would hold until she transitioned to administration in 1999. For the next ten years, she served as the director of institutional research and special programs (DIR), focusing on coordination between NEO and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), NEO’s accrediting body. In this role, she was instrumental in procuring a grant that would create a Student Support Services TRiO program on campus. During her tenure as DIR, she concurrently served as the Interim Dean and then Dean of the School of Human Environmental Sciences.

In 2012, she was appointed by President Jeff Hale to serve as the Vice President for Academic Affairs upon earning her Ph.D. in Education, focusing on Occupational Education Studies. In this role, she has maintained her oversight of NEO’s accreditation with HLC and has directed all academic functions on campus. She has also provided leadership for the Director of Library Services, the Director of the TRiO Student Support Services Grant, as well as many other federal grant programs.

“I truly appreciate all that Dr. Fahnestock has done for NEO over the past 30 years,” said President Kyle Stafford. “She has worked tirelessly for the College in several leadership roles, and we are truly grateful for the work she has done for the betterment of NEO.”

In retirement, Dr. Fahnestock plans to continue teaching adjunct at NEO, but plans to focus more time exploring her passion for genealogy, including blogging, gravestone restoration, and research. NEO extends its deepest thanks to Dr. Fahnestock for her many years of dedicated service.

For more information, contact Jordan Adams at Jordan.m.adams@neo.edu.

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