University Center confirms departure of Maher as president

Michael D. Smith
The Ardmoreite
Peggy Maher opens the University Center walking trails in October 2019. Maher served as the president of UCSO for over a year until leaving that post this month.

Leadership at the University Center of Southern Oklahoma changed this week with the departure of its president. Andre Moore will replace Peggy Maher as the leader of the multi-institution campus in Ardmore on an interim basis.

Multiple sources on Wednesday confirmed the departure of Maher. The UCSO Board of Trustees met for a virtual meeting last Thursday and among agenda items was an executive session to review her performance.

Board Vice Chair Shana Tate Hammond said in a Wednesday email that the board looks forward to working with Moore. 

"The Board of Trustees of the University Center of Southern Oklahoma appreciates the efforts that Ms. Maher has made on behalf of the Center, but we have chosen to go in a different direction. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors," Hammond said.

When reached by phone, Moore declined to comment until the board made a more formal announcement of the leadership change.

Maher served as an interim president for months before being appointment as president by the board in January 2019. The former director of the NASA Aerospace Education Services Project oversaw UCSO’s developing partnership with Langston University and saw long-planned walking trails open in October 2019.

Maher on Wednesday declined to comment.

UCSO serves as a satellite campus for three area colleges—Murray State College, Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Langston University. The Ardmore campus is overseen by a board of trustees appointed by the governor.

This story has been updated to include comment from Shana Tate Hammond and Peggy Maher's declining to comment.