The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education announced plans today to resume the Chancellor search process paused last spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Regents were in the early stages of planning a national search prompted by Chancellor Glen D. Johnson’s planned retirement after more than 14 years as Chancellor of the Oklahoma higher education system.

At the advice of national higher education organizations and search firms, the State Regents delayed the search process for several months. Chancellor Johnson accommodated the State Regents’ request to reset his retirement date to September 30 of this year, providing ample time to conduct a thorough search.

“The pandemic disrupted our process to conduct an extensive national search to identify the best-qualified person to serve as Chancellor of our Oklahoma higher education system,” said State Regents’ chair Ann Holloway. “Given the uncertainty around the pandemic at the time, it was the right decision. Chancellor Johnson’s decision to reset his retirement plans was helpful, ensuring we could carry out a more thorough and deliberate process when the time was right. Now, the time is right for us to resume the search process.”

The State Regents appointed Regents Ann Holloway, Joseph Parker Jr., Jay Helm, and Ronald White to serve as members of the search committee to oversee their process. The State Regents intend to select an established firm experienced in handling high-profile executive searches and aligning the mission and capabilities to identify and finalize a pool of candidates with the qualifications for the position.

“We appreciate Chancellor Johnson and his willingness to support this process,” said Holloway. “We look forward to recognizing his exceptional achievements and service to higher education in the next few months. The responsibility to select the next Chancellor is one we take very seriously. Our higher education system in Oklahoma is a diverse collection of academic and research institutions committed to student success. Each institution has a vital role to play in educating Oklahomans and moving our state forward economically.”

“I know the State Regents are committed to an inclusive, collaborative process,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Selecting the next Chancellor is one of the most critical decisions the State Regents will make. To that end, I stand ready to support the search and ensure a smooth transition.”