Office of the Dean - Kendall College of Arts and Sciences

Office of the Dean

Karen Petersen

Karen Petersen was named dean of The University of Tulsa’s Kendall College of Arts and Sciences in 2021. She previously served as dean of liberal arts and professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Petersen received her doctorate in political science from Vanderbilt University in 2004. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations from MTSU and her master’s degree in political science from Vanderbilt.

Petersen’s publications include journal articles on the causes of interstate conflict, terrorism, the federal courts, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and pedagogical issues related to online learning as well as high-impact practices. She teaches courses in international relations and comparative politics with an area specialization in international conflict. Petersen co-developed an education abroad course on Israeli politics, which she led from 2013-2019.

As an administrator, Petersen championed the liberal arts at MTSU. Her team implemented a comprehensive plan to articulate a strong value statement for the liberal arts and celebrate the diversity of disciplines and perspectives that makes the liberal arts indispensable in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. She believes education, particularly higher education, has the power to change lives and transform communities.

Karen Petersen
Dean, Kendall College of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Political Science

Office of the Dean
Chapman Hall, Room 111
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Kirsten Olds
Associate Dean
Associate Professor of Art, Design and Art History
Chapman Hall, Room 110

Stephanie Boulden
Manager of Special Projects and Technical Needs
Chapman Hall, Room 111

Steven Buchele
Special Projects and Technical Needs Associate
Chapman Hall, Room 109

  • Points of Pride
    • 96% placement rates in jobs or graduate school
    • Since 1991, there have been 365 Presidential Scholars.
    • In the past five years, 288 Arts & Science students traveled abroad to more than 42 countries.
    • Since 1980, 39 Arts & Sciences professors received the TU Outstanding Teacher Award.
    • 20 Arts & Science students received research grant awards (2016-2017)
    • Students have won competitive awards such as: Harry S. Truman Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Fullbright Scholarship and The Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Student Internship
    • Kendall College is home to six award winning journals: James Joyce Quarterly, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Russian Studies in History, Nimrod: International Journal of Prose and Poetry, Journal of Modern Periodical Studies and the student journal Stylus.
    • Kendall College alumni include: author Rilla Askew, Emmy-winning student director Chase Chambers, Chief of Operations at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center Monte Hawkins, author S.E. Hinton, actor Wesam Keesh, actor and producer Julius Tennon, actor Wade Williams
    • Students go on to pursue graduate studies at leading universities: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Oxford and Chicago to name a few.
  • Arts & Sciences Dean’s Circle

    Every university is strengthened by the annual giving of alumni and friends and TU is no exception. Gifts to the annual fund provide critical support for programs and expenses in the college that have no other dedicated funding source, and it allows the flexibility to address the most pressing needs that arise on a daily basis.

    Annual fund donors giving $2,500 or more are recognized as members of the Dean’s Circle, making them a dedicated group of partners with a proud stake in TU’s success.

    Examples of past uses of Dean’s Circle funds include:

    • Student organized TedX talk
    • Student research colloquiums
    • Student travel to participate in the National Student Advertising Competition
    • Etiquette dinners for more than 150 students
    • Partnered with the admissions office to increase student recruitment efforts by subsidizing campus visits and funding promotional videos

    If you are interested in being a part of the Kendall College of Arts and Sciences family, please visit our giving page.

    2016-2017 Arts & Sciences Dean’s Circle

    Ellen and Steve Adelson
    Melinda and Mitch ’79 Adwon
    Joanie and Tom Atkinson
    Olivia Belknap ’96
    Elizabeth Bender ’79
    Harriet ‘69  and Bill ’67, ’69 Derrevere
    Jean Ann ’72 and Tom Fausser ’70
    Linda Feagin ’66
    Marilyn Girouard ’51
    Kathleen Page and Michael Graves ’67, ‘70
    Kellie ’72 and Fred Harlan
    Nancy and Jerry ’61 Henry
    Mary Ann Hille ’65
    Robert Hogan
    Burt Holmes ’54
    Jenk Jones
    Mary Lhevine ’82 and George Schnetzer
    Susan ’95 and Bob Mase
    Judith McCormack ’63, ’77
    Teena and Paul Merrywell
    Paula ’61 and Malcolm Milsten
    Kalpana Misra and Murali Iyengar
    Valerie ’86 and Brad Naifeh
    Melinda Noel ’72
    Vicki Parry ’61
    Mindy ’80 and Jesse Pearson
    Kay and Tim ’78 Phoenix
    Peggy and Ron Predl
    Jean Roberts ’39
    James Ruddle ’57, ’61
    Frank Skipworth ’67, ’70
    Betty ’83 and Kelly Swindle
    Norma and Steve ’68 Turnbo
    Julia and Bill ’86 Watson
    Martin Wing


    Herbert and Roseline Gussman Foundation
    Pearl M. and Julia J. Harmon Foundation
    Harlan and Virginia Krumme Trust
    George H. Odell Foundation
    A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation
    Charles and Marion Weber Foundation

  • Board of Visitors
    • Caroline Abbott
    • Ellen Adelson
    • Mitch Adwon
    • Joanie Atkinson
    • Leta Bell
    • Barbara Blackburn
    • Don Blackburn
    • John Bovaird
    • Beth Bovaird
    • Laurie Brumbaugh
    • Bill Derrevere
    • Harriet Derrevere
    • Linda Feagin
    • John Finley
    • Linda Frazier
    • Marc Frazier
    • Greg Frizzell
    • Michael Graves
    • Monte Hawkins
    • Kim Johnson
    • Jenk Jones
    • Jake Jorishie
    • Cheryl LaFortune
    • Mary Lhevine
    • Judy McCormack
    • Paula Milsten
    • Bob Mogelnicki
    • Mahvash Moghaddam
    • Valerie Naifeh
    • TimPhoenix
    • George Schnetzer
    • Greg Spears
    • Julius Tennon
    • Bruce Tibbets
    • Frances Tibbets
    • Steve Turnbo
    • Bill Watson
    • Julie Watson
    • Melissa Weiss
    • Martin Wing
  • Contact

    Office of the Dean
    Chapman Hall, Room 111
    Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    Stephanie Boulden
    Manager of Special Projects and Technical Needs
    Chapman Hall, Room 111