The Norman Transcript


June 13, 2014

Mergler to join Honors College in teaching post after sabbatical

NORMAN — For almost 20 years Nancy Mergler served the University of Oklahoma as senior vice president and provost, but now she’s ready to be back in the classroom teaching.

“I grew up an academic. My mom was a high school English teacher. Once I went away to college, I never left,” she said.

Mergler earned her master’s degree in cognitive developmental psychology at Syracuse University. She began working at OU in 1979 in the psychology department.

“I loved the department. They were good to me, and I enjoyed my colleagues. Then I got married, had two children and earned tenure,” Mergler said of her early years at the university before she joined the honors program as director.

“I got the offer and said, OK, am I going to go into academic administration or am I going to be a faculty member?’ It was kind of a bellwether moment,” she said. “I decided to jump, and I loved it. I loved working in the honors program and creating a lot more vibrancy and working with those super bright students.”

By 1995, OU President David L. Boren appointed Mergler as provost of the Norman campus. Mergler said she thinks she came to the attention of Boren through people, faculty and students who had seen the work she’d done in the honors program.

“When he called me into his office, I thought he was going to ask me my opinion about the direction or goals of the university. So I was dumfounded when he asked me to step in to be interim provost.”

As chief academic officer, the provost is responsible for intellectual standards, institutional planning and budgeting, and the recruitment, retention and development of faculty and students, as well as program development and review, academic policies and procedures, and enrollment management.

“I was so excited about the energy and vision he (Boren) had and just how bright he was. He’s not an academic in terms of having a traditional Ph.D., but he is so bright and so intuitive about people and how to do things that I said, ‘This is going to be crazy, but I’ll do it,’” Mergler said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • OU officials confirm student died in car wreck

    University of Oklahoma officials confirmed Tuesday that recent car wreck victim Taylor Witcher was an OU student in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Witcher died after a three-car collision around 12:35 a.m. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Union Market 9 Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU physicist receives $1M grant

    A University of Oklahoma physicist has received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop a quantum enhanced plasmonic sensor. The emerging field of physics known as quantum plasmonics will enable technology for sensing ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU awarded Mellon Grant

    The University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $572,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the development of a digital library of Latin texts of all eras. The Digital Latin Library — a Linked Open Data resource — represents a ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Solar cars 7 Solar cars use Norman area during pit stop

    Flat, low to the ground with reflective panels and bright colors, these moving vehicles look more like cartoon spaceships than solar race cars. But these funny looking cars represent exactly what the American Solar Challenge (ASC) ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Digital storytelling workshop to help tornado victims

    Looking for ways to make use of the University of Oklahoma Writing Center’s services in the community, the center has developed the digital storytelling workshop “Survivors in Motion” to help last year’s tornadoes survivors....

    July 16, 2014

  • Free concert to feature Corey Smith

    Corey Smith, born and raised in Jefferson, Ga., will heat up the summer scene with a free concert at 8 p.m. on July 18 at the University of Oklahoma....

    July 11, 2014

  • OU showcases family treasures exhibit

    An exhibit consisting of 12 panels with the best practices on how to care for items — including textiles and recordings such as cassettes and family videos — is on display through July 10 in Beaird Lounge on the second floor of Oklahoma ...

    July 9, 2014

  • Sam Noble Museum awarded reaccreditation

    The American Alliance of Museums in Washington D.C. awarded the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History reaccreditation in 2014 for the fourth consecutive time. Accreditation offers a wide variety of benefits, including increased ...

    July 5, 2014

  • Emotional Brain set as July’s Neuro Night Forum topic

    Improving neurological health through education, research and access to care will be the topic of July’s Neuro Night forum at 6 p.m. July 15 at the Fountains at Canterbury, 1404 N.W. 122nd St. A light dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m....

    July 2, 2014