Morrison resident Dennis Casey and Holdenville resident Jack Sherry were sworn in as members of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on March 4 by Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Noma Gurich. Their appointment by Gov. Kevin Stitt was confirmed by both the Senate Education Committee and the full Senate.

“We welcome Regents Casey and Sherry to our board,” said State Regents’ chair Ann Holloway. “Regent Casey’s educational and public service experience and expertise greatly benefit the state system of higher education and the students of Oklahoma. Regent Sherry has served Oklahoma in both K-12 and higher education, and his experiences are invaluable as we continue to encourage Oklahomans to complete their college degrees.”

Casey fulfills the unexpired term of Regent Andy Lester, and will serve through May 2025. Sherry will serve a nine-year term that expires in May 2029, and replaces Regent Toney Stricklin.

“Regent Casey and Regent Sherry’s vast experience in the business and education sectors greatly benefits the State Regents as we remain focused on increasing college degree attainment to meet our state’s current and future workforce needs,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Their contributions support the State Regents’ mission to serve Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities and our students.”

Casey is a retired public school educator, coach, principal, and superintendent. He also served four terms in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives, representing District 35, and currently owns and operates a cow/calf operation and custom hay-cutting business in Morrison. Casey earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Education from Northeastern State University.

“It is a privilege to be able to give back to higher education, which has given so much to me and my family,” said Regent Casey. “I am a first-generation college graduate, and I am very proud to say that all of my children have earned their college degrees, as well.”

Sherry owns Jack Sherry Real Estate and Investments in Holdenville and operates a cattle ranch in Hughes and Seminole counties. He currently serves as an advisory director to the First National Bank in Holdenville, president of the Hughes County Farm Bureau, and chairman of the Holdenville Hospital Board, and served as a trustee on the Seminole State College Educational Foundation Board of Trustees. He attended Oklahoma State University and Seminole State College, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Nazarene University.

“I am certainly honored to be entrusted with the position of an Oklahoma State Regent,” said Regent Sherry. “Education is always evolving as we have seen this past year with students having to adapt to zoom lessons and virtual learning. Receiving an education is an investment for the future. As Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.’ ”

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education is a nine-member constitutional board that coordinates all 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, approves tuition and 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.