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December 5, 2006 :: State Regents Name New Chancellor

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The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education today announced the selection of Dr. Glen D. Johnson as chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. Johnson will take office as Oklahoma’s eighth chancellor early in 2007, succeeding Phil Moss, who has been serving as interim chancellor since June 29, 2006.

Johnson currently serves as president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, where he has served in that capacity since 1997. Since that time, he has instituted a set of strategic goals and plans for the university that have gone a long way in positioning it as the university of choice for students in southeastern Oklahoma and northern Texas.

“Oklahoma has a first-rate higher education system, and I am deeply honored to have been selected by the State Regents as Oklahoma’s chancellor of higher education. During my professional career, I have had two passions: public service and higher education,” said Johnson. “This appointment gives me the opportunity to pursue both of these in a very significant way. I would like to express my appreciation to the State Regents for the confidence they have placed in me and promise to devote all my time and effort to fulfill the duties of this position.”

To fill the position of chancellor, the State Regents selected the search firm R. William Funk and Associates from Dallas in September. Assisted by the firm, the State Regents met with every public college president in the state and other leaders to find out what characteristics they would like to see in the next chancellor.

According to State Regents Chairman John Massey, the goal of the search was to find someone to address key issues, such as increasing the retention and graduation rates of students in college, and selecting an Oklahoman for the position means that the new chancellor can start immediately on accomplishing those goals.

“By naming Glen Johnson as chancellor, we are assured of his leadership abilities and working knowledge of all nine State Regents, 25 institutions, about 150 legislators and the State System,” said Massey.

“When asked by the Regents about what the over-arching goal should be for Oklahoma higher education,” said Johnson, “my response was we should boil it down to the basics by continuing to produce better-prepared students and more graduates from our colleges and universities so that we can provide them with more opportunities and help them be productive members of Oklahoma’s growing economy.”

Johnson has been a force in higher education since he was appointed president of Southeastern. He has spearheaded major initiatives including individual attention to students; active learning and partnership; total development of students; effective use of technology; and promotion of economic development, scholarship and culture.

Before his appointment as Southeastern’s 16th president, he served as director of public policy and professor of law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He also served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1982 to 1996 and was speaker of the house from 1990 to 1996.

Johnson was instrumental in the passage of House Bill 1017, Oklahoma’s landmark education reform legislation, and served as chair of the Appropriations and Budget Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. He authored Senate Bill 180 in 1988 that created the Endowed Chairs Program and was principal author of HB 2428, the $350 million Higher Education Bond Issue. He spearheaded the opportunity to use $14 million from the proceeds of the bond issue for the creation of the OneNet telecommunications system in 1992.

A native of Okemah, Johnson was an honors graduate from of OU, with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and received his Juris Doctor degree from OU’s College of Law. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at OU and received the Letzeiser Award as one of OU’s outstanding seniors. Johnson has been established as a leading spokesman for higher education both in southeastern Oklahoma and northern Texas, as well as throughout the state.

Photo of Chancellor-Elect Glen D. Johnson (GIF, 553k)