A faculty member in OU’s Department of Classics and Letters, Harper will continue to teach a range of courses on Greek and Roman history, early Christianity, late antiquity and ancient law while serving as senior vice president and interim provost. He said this interaction with students will help him stay in touch with the university’s needs.
“The first thing on our agenda is to listen to faculty and students,” Harper said, “to absorb their ideas and to process where they see opportunities and going forward, to begin developing a plan that can help OU remain competitive and continue to rise as one of the best universities in the country.”
Harper was born and raised in Norman. He said he has always been a Sooner fan and is happy to be part of a community that values education.
He serves as director of OU’s Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, which three years ago launched the University’s successful Teach-In series on Constitutionalism. The series has been broadcast on OETA and posted on iTunesU, where it has been downloaded by tens of thousands of viewers.
He also created and introduced “Freedom.ou.edu,” an OU website featuring a weekly series of short lectures on constitutional law and constitutional history, making civic education available to anyone any time. In 2001, he was awarded the Irene Rothbaum Outstanding Faculty Award.
Harper also was a recipient of the prestigious James Henry Breasted Prize by the American Historical Association for his book “Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275-425.”
In 2013, he was named a recipient of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a national award honoring scholars, artists and scientists who are selected on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.
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