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University of Central Oklahoma


Brett S. Sharp is a professor of public administration and director of the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Central Oklahoma. Previously, he served as employment manager for the City of Oklahoma City and agency services coordinator for the State of Oklahoma. The American Society of Public Administration recently awarded him with its Distinguished Public Service Award. He is the author and editor of several books including Oklahoma Government & Politics, now in its 7th Edition and Managing in the Public Sector,  now in its 2nd Ed. His research also appears in several major journals including American Review of Public Administration and Review of Public Personnel Administration. For the past few years, he has been serving as a visiting research professor at Swansea University in Wales, UK focused on the application of social media in political movements and crisis management communication. His latest research is in policy to address technological displacement by artificial intelligence and robotics. He also has been researching major administrative reform efforts using data visualization techniques. Previous research has been in areas such as the role of faith-based organizations in social welfare policy for SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute for State Government. He is also a graduate of the Academic Leadership Fellows Academy, Leadership Educators Institute, Outstanding Professors Academy, Disney Institute, Quality New Mexico Board of Examiners Academy, the FBI Citizens Academy, and Walmart Management Training Academy.

Sharp has started four different successful academic programs on campus including (1) the original Master of Public Administration in public and nonprofit management, (2) the Master of Public Administration in urban management, (3) the B.A. in public administration, and (4) as founding director of Leadership Studies at UCO, he helped inaugurate and implement the highly successful Leadership Minor.

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Oklahoma (Public Administration, Public Policy, and American Government)
  • Master of Public Administration, University of Oklahoma
  • Bachelor of Science in Political Science/Public Affairs with a minor in Religious Studies (Oklahoma State University)


  • eLearning Quality Certified Faculty Member, UCO Center for eLearning & Connected Environments, 2014 and 2023
  • Certification in Nonprofit Management, Cornerstone Foundation, 2019
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources Management (SPHR), Society for Human Resources Management (1997-2006)


  • Professor, University of Central Oklahoma, 2000-Present
  • MPA Director/MPA Advisor, 2012-2019, 2023-2025
  • Visiting Professor/Research Supervisor, Swansea University, Wales, UK, 2012-Present
  • Employment Manager, City of Oklahoma City, 1995-2000
  • Oklahoma Office of Personnel Management, Agency Services Coordinator, 1987-1995
  • Walmart Stores, Inc., Assistant Manager, 1986-1987
  • Discoveryland Outdoor Dramas, Theatre Administrator, Summers 1978-1985

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Public Service Award, American Society for Public Administration, 2020
  • Political Science Scholar of the Year, Oklahoma Political Science Association, 2014
  • Faculty Merit-Credit Award for Excellence in Teaching, UCO, 2013
  • Leader in Residence Award, UCO Academic Affairs and Leadership Central, 2009
  • Faculty & Staff Campus Leader of the Week Award, UCO Leadership Central, 2008
  • Political Science Scholar of the Year, Oklahoma Political Science Association, 2005
  • Vanderford Engagement Award for Leadership, UCO, 2005
  • Faculty Merit-Credit Award for Excellence in Scholarship, UCO, 2005
  • Faculty Member of the Year, UCO College of Liberal Arts, 2005
  • Faculty Merit-Credit Award for Excellence in Teaching, UCO, 2004
  • Political Science Teacher of the Year, Oklahoma Political Science Association, 2003
  • UCO's Favorite Professor, Alpha Lambda Delta Academic Honor Society, 2003
  • Faculty Merit-Credit Award for Excellence in Service, UCO, 2003
  • Outstanding New Faculty Member 2002-2003, UCO College of Liberal Arts, 2003
  • City’s Best Award for Team Leadership, City of Oklahoma City, 1998
  • Outstanding Service to the State of Oklahoma, Office of the Governor, 1990
  • Society of Collegiate Journalists 10th Annual Press Day Award for Feature Writing, 1981

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.