Since 1983, Hale has served as a public school teacher, college administrator, and vice chancellor for the Oklahoma state system of public higher education. From 1983 to 1990, he taught United States history and coached basketball and tennis for the Mustang Public School System. During that time, Junior Achievement, an organization designed to promote business principles and entrepreneurism to secondary-level students, recognized him as one of their outstanding classroom teachers.
Hale began his higher education administration career in 1990 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In 1991, he accepted an offer to join the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Oklahoma, where he served until the summer of 2000. At the University of Oklahoma, Hale served as the first director for the Center for Student Life. The Center housed Greek affairs, student government, student activities, international student services, academic support programs, minority studentservices and leadership programs. While at OU, Hale secured the University’s first Ronald E. McNair Post Graduate Grant Program, founded the University Achievement Class and was recognized as the Outstanding Staff Member in 1994.
From 2000 to 2007, Hale served as Vice President for the Enrollment Management and Marketing Department and as Director of the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Okla. While at Southeastern, Hale oversaw $22 million in athletic facilities improvements and chaired the Durant Community Facilities Authority. Hale directed an enrollment management division that grew student enrollment from 3600 in 2000 to more than 4200 by 2006. In 2004, Hale was recognized by the National Center for the First-Year Student Experience at the University of South Carolina as their national award winner for student advocacy.
On December 4, 2008, the Oklahoma State University A&M Board of Regents voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Hale as NEO’s fifteenth president.
Since Hale’s arrival in 2008, NEO has steadily increased in enrollment growth for seven consecutive semesters, and in 2010 the College was named one of the fastest growing community colleges in the nation. In addition to his responsibilities at NEO, Hale serves as the Miami Chamber Board Chairman. He is also one of 11 college presidents selected by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to evaluate the funding formula that determines how much money regents allocate to each public college and university.
Under Hale’s leadership, NEO has completed 11 campus facilities projects since 2008 totaling almost $41 million worth of improvements. Hale’s work with the NEO Foundation, Inc. has resulted in increasing the assets of the Foundation from $400,000 to more than $3 million, and the number of Foundation scholarships awarded this past year reached 200 for a total of $90,000.
Hale is married to Donna Staples Hale, a former teacher with Mustang Public Schools, who is currently a nutrition and yoga instructor for NEO A&M College. Together they have two children, Eli, 17, and Emma, 15. Hale’s parents, Harold and Beverly Hale, are long-time residents of Yukon and El Reno, where Harold served as the state representative for District 43 from 1981 until 1990.