Higher education Chancellor Glen D. Johnson was recognized recently on the Senate floor and House floor with a concurrent resolution honoring his 39 years of service to public higher education and the state of Oklahoma.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 was presented by Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Roger Thompson, House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, and House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education Chair Mark McBride.
“Dr. Johnson’s family is from my hometown of Okemah, and they have a long tradition of public service in Oklahoma. His father was a U.S. Congressman, and Glen began his own career on the Okemah Board of Education. He quickly rose through the ranks of Oklahoma’s House of Representatives and became the youngest House Speaker in the nation. He later served 10 years as the president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. After a nationwide search, in January 2007, he became Oklahoma’s eighth Chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher education,” Sen. Thompson said. “His accomplishments have moved our state and our higher education system forward, and in every position, he has served with integrity, sincerity, dedication and distinction. Our state is better for Chancellor Johnson’s service.”
“Glen Johnson has served Oklahomans – and especially Oklahoma students – with great distinction during his remarkable run of state service as a House member and within our higher education system,” said Rep. Echols. “All education decisions we make should be about what is best for our students, and Glen Johnson has shown Oklahomans for decades the type of success we can achieve when we do that. I wish the Chancellor all the best in retirement, and look forward to helping honor his legacy next year and into the future by reaffirming our commitment to building a world-class higher education system in Oklahoma.”
“Chancellor Johnson has done an outstanding job for the students and educators in our higher education system since taking the helm of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education more than 14 years ago,” Rep. McBride said. “We all should be incredibly grateful for his leadership and his dedication to seeing students in our state equipped for the next phases of their life after college.”
In April 2020, Johnson announced that he would extend his planned retirement date of Dec. 31, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021, after the State Regents asked him to consider extending his retirement date due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from the Legislature, and very appreciative of the kind remarks of friends and colleagues,” said Johnson. “I feel privileged to represent the Oklahoma state system of higher education at the state and national level, and to have the opportunity to ensure that our higher education system prepares Oklahoma graduates to succeed in a globally competitive workforce.”
Johnson was named chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education in January 2007 following a national search. Before assuming the role of chancellor, he served as the 16th president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant for 10 years. He was also director of public policy and adjunct professor of law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Prior to his work at OU, he served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1982 to 1996 and was speaker of the House from 1990 to 1996. At the time of his election as speaker, he was the youngest sitting speaker in the United States. Johnson is an honors graduate of OU with an undergraduate degree in political science and a juris doctorate from the OU College of Law, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2016. Johnson received the State Higher Education Executive Officers’ (SHEEO) Exceptional Leader Award honoring the outstanding Chancellor/system-head in the nation in July 2019. In September 2020, he received Leadership Oklahoma’s 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.