Office of the President

upham_steadmanPresident Steadman Upham

Steadman Upham currently serves as the 19th president of The University of Tulsa, a position he has held since 2004. Prior to coming to TU, he served as president and chief executive officer of Claremont Graduate University, a doctoral research university and a member of the Oxford-style consortium known as The Claremont Colleges in Claremont, California.

Upham received his Ph.D. degree in anthropology in 1980 from Arizona State University. In 1981, he joined New Mexico State University where he held the positions of chief archaeologist and assistant professor of archaeology. He achieved the rank of tenured professor of archaeology in 1989. Before leaving New Mexico State in 1990, he also served as the faculty affiliate, Center for Social Research (1985 – 1990); curator of Archaeology, University Museum (1984  – 1990); and associate dean of the Graduate School (1987 – 1990).

From 1990 to 1998, Upham worked at the University of Oregon as vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School and professor of anthropology. At Oregon, Upham was responsible for management of the university’s 21 research centers and institutes as well as the River Front Research Park. He also served as the university’s chief administrator for graduate education.

Upham is a widely published archaeologist, having written or edited 10 books and more than 75 book chapters and journal articles. He has lectured extensively in the United States and Canada.

Throughout his career, Upham has been singled out for his achievements as an educator and administrator. In 2001, he received the Academy Gold Medal of Honor by the Academy of Transdisciplinary Learning and Advance Studies. He was named to the Graduate College Hall of Fame by Arizona State University and named an ASU Distinguished Alumnus in 1998. The University of Oregon presented Upham its Martin Luther King Jr. Award and Director’s Award for Service and Achievement, both in 1998. Early in his academic career, Upham’s teaching skills were recognized by New Mexico State University, which presented him the Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1987, and a year later named him a master teacher.

Upham’s extensive professional service and accomplishments include commissioner of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges; chairman of the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools; president of the National Physical Science Consortium; director of The American Mutual Funds; director of the Saint Francis Health System; director of the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce; director of the American Council on Education; director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association; director of the College Football Playoffs; and director and chair of the Tulsa Community Foundation.

During the past decade, TU has achieved a remarkable transformation.The university is ranked No. 86 among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report (2015), and the College of Law and the Graduate Business Programs are ranked among the top 100 in their categories. In recent years, TU has added more than 1 million square feet of usable space, including student apartments and activity centers, academic and administrative buildings and athletic facilities, among others. The university’s seven-year Embrace the Future campaign raised more than $698 million. Thanks to the campaign, TU created $119 million in scholarship endowments, 1,182 new awards, $87 million in faculty endowments and 47 new endowed positions.


Doctor of Philosophy-Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 1980
Dissertation title: Political Continuity and Change in the Plateau Southwest
M.A., Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 1977
B.A., University of Redlands, Redlands, California, 1971
Major areas of study: English literature and Spanish
Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain, 1969-70
University of Redlands, Redlands, California, 1967-69