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OU Polytechnic Institute Hires Cyber, AI, Software Experts


OU Polytechnic Institute Hires Cyber, AI, Software Experts

February 20, 2024

TULSA, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma Polytechnic Institute has made the first of several faculty hires. These faculty members add expertise in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and software development and integration in preparation for the OU Polytechnic Institute’s first classes, which will begin in August 2024.

The OU Polytechnic Institute will serve as a workforce solution for Tulsa and northeastern Oklahoma and align OU’s educational and research capabilities with the needs and opportunities of the region’s growing and dynamic tech-focused economy. The school will offer innovative programs to fill vital, high-paying jobs. The OU Polytechnic Institute’s cutting-edge curriculum – developed with industry partners – will focus on applied knowledge, answering the call for advanced technology growth and new jobs.

The cybersecurity bachelor’s completion program classes will begin this fall. Following close behind are bachelor’s completion degrees in artificial intelligence and software development and integration, slated to start in the fall of 2025, pending approval by the OU Board of Regents and Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Future programs being considered for both bachelor’s completion and graduate-level degrees will be in digital manufacturing, health information systems and advanced mobility.

New faculty information:

Christopher Freeze, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of cybersecurity
Freeze has more than 23 years of law enforcement experience with the FBI, working criminal, cyber and national security cases.

John Hassell, Ph.D., MBA
Associate professor of software development and integration
Hassell brings more than 35 years of developer experience in northeast Oklahoma across various regional industries.

Greg MacDonald, Ph.D. (starts March 2024)
Associate professor of artificial intelligence
MacDonald has more than 45 years of industry experience, most recently with General Motors.

Chad Roller, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of software development and integration
Roller has more than 15 years of industry experience in the energy sector.

The OU Polytechnic Institute has received community and industry financial support from organizations such as the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Google, Williams, Bank of Oklahoma, and, coming later this spring, the Pamela S. and Terry L. Carter Scholarship. More opportunities for partnerships, both financially and through contributions of resources and expertise, are encouraged.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit

About OU Polytechnic Institute

The University of Oklahoma Polytechnic Institute (OUPI) at OU-Tulsa is focused on high-demand, advanced and applied technology-based education. OUPI prepares graduates to transform industries in Oklahoma by offering innovative programs that meet growing demands in areas such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, software development and integration and digital manufacturing. OUPI at OU-Tulsa will create a pipeline of extremely skilled graduates with experience in high-demand fields, leading to high-paying jobs that will retain talent in the state and attract new students. For more information about OUPI visit

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