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May 26, 2017 - Hickman Sworn in as New State Regent RSS feed

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At today’s meeting of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Fairview resident and former House Speaker Jeff Hickman was sworn in as a State Regent. Katherine E. Thomas, Special District Judge for Payne County, administered the Oath of Office.

“I am committed to work with my colleagues on the State Board of Regents, the Governor, legislators and the Chancellor to identify ways to advance our higher education system in Oklahoma,” Hickman said.  “I will work to ensure our colleges, universities and higher education centers continue to provide a quality education for our students and the workforce that Oklahoma businesses need to succeed.”

Regent Hickman’s appointment by Gov. Mary Fallin was confirmed by the Senate Education Committee and full Senate earlier this month. He will serve a nine-year term that expires in May 2026. Hickman replaces Regent Jimmy Harrel, who recently completed his second nine-year term on the board.

“We welcome Regent Hickman and look forward to his contributions as a State Regent,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “As we work to continue expanding college access, maintaining college affordability, and increasing college degree completion, we know Regent Hickman’s background and prior service as a legislative leader and his career path in the public and private sectors will greatly benefit the state system of higher education and Oklahoma students.”

Regent Hickman was elected to the House of Representatives in 2004. He served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for three legislative sessions, from 2014-16, but was unable to seek re-election due to legislative term limits. Prior to his election as Speaker, Hickman served as Speaker Pro Tempore and chairman of the Revenue and Taxation Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee, Public Safety Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee, and Insurance and Retirement Committee.

Before his election to the Legislature, Regent Hickman served as vice president of Omni Media Group in Woodward. He spent seven years working in higher education at the University of Oklahoma, where he served as university press secretary, public affairs special projects coordinator and as an assistant to the president and to the athletic director.

Regent Hickman holds a bachelor’s degree with distinction from OU. Since leaving the Legislature, Hickman has served as chief communications and compliance officer for the Great Salt Plains Health Center, with four sites in Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant and Blaine counties. Additionally, he has been involved with his family’s farming operation in Alfalfa and Woods counties since childhood, and is now the fifth generation in his family to own and farm land near Dacoma and Cherokee in northwest Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education is a nine-member constitutional board that coordinates 25 public higher education institutions in Oklahoma. The board prescribes academic standards of higher education, determines functions and courses of study at state colleges and universities, grants degrees, makes budget requests to the Legislature, allocates funding for each college and university, recommends proposed fees within limits set by the Legislature and manages numerous scholarships and special programs. State regents are appointed by the governor for nine-year terms.

Photo of Regent Jeff Hickman. (JPG, high res, 652k)