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Vice President for Research

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Kenneth W. Sewell, Vice President for Research

Kenneth W. Sewell photo

Kenneth Sewell joined Oklahoma State University as the Vice president for Research at Oklahoma State University in 2015. In this role, he is responsible for the policies, offices, and service units that support and promote research, scholarship, creative artistry, technology transfer, and IP commercialization at OSU. As a member of OSU’s leadership team, Dr. Sewell actively engages with the president, provost, other vice presidents, and deans to ensure that research is supported, promoted, and integrated throughout the entire mission of the institution. In the context of public higher education, Dr. Sewell views research as the engine that drives all persons engaged in and with it—whether they are faculty researchers, students, community participants/partners, or societal consumers—to the vanguard of change, transformation, and progress. With this guiding philosophy, Dr. Sewell conceptualizes research as a vital catalyst: what faculty and students do today that was not yet conceived (let alone printed in a textbook) yesterday AND that will propel scientific, social, and economic progress into the future.


In addition to his roles within OSU, Dr. Sewell is active in research leadership at the state and national levels. Within Oklahoma, he currently serves on a gubernatorial appointee on the Oklahoma Science and Technology Research and Development (OSTRAD) Board, and on the Oklahoma EPSCoR State Advisory Committee. He held similar positions in Louisiana during his tenure at the University of New Orleans. Nationally, Dr. Sewell serves on the Executive Committee of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Council on Research (COR), and on the EPSCoR Coalition Board.


Coming from the faculty ranks himself, Dr. Sewell is a staunch advocate for faculty researchers and the transforming power that research experiences can have on students. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. Sewell was trained within a scientist-practitioner framework that blends hard-nosed behavioral science research alongside professional competencies in the assessment, prevention, and treatment of psychopathology. He had many years of academic research, teaching, professional training/mentoring, and administrative experience before his move into university-level research leadership. His own research focused on posttraumatic stress, bereavement, personality assessment, and a variety of forensic psychology topics such as competency to stand trial, malingering, and factors affecting comprehension of Miranda rights. Dr. Sewell has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, in addition to several edited books, psychological tests, and test manuals.


Dr. Sewell received his B.S. from Kansas State University. He then received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Following a clinical internship with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Sewell joined the faculty at the University of North Texas in 1991. In 2008, he entered central research leadership full time, first as associate vice president for research and then as interim vice president for research at UNT before moving to the University of New Orleans as the vice president for research and economic development as well as the executive director of the Graduate School. In 2015, Dr. Sewell joined the OSU team and moved to Stillwater with his wife, Beth, where they now make their home.

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