Allison D. Garrett was sworn in today as the ninth chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education by Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger. Garrett succeeds Dr. Glen D. Johnson, who had served as chancellor since January 2007.
“Our work to meet Oklahoma’s changing workforce needs and demonstrate higher education’s critical role in economic development continues,” said Chair Jeffrey W. Hickman. “Chancellor Garrett’s visionary leadership and commitment to strategic innovation will greatly benefit our state, our colleges and universities and the students they serve.”
Garrett thanked the State Regents and said she is ready to tackle the challenges ahead.
“I am honored to work with the State Regents, our public institutions, the Legislature and the business community to produce more graduates with the skills required to compete in our dynamic global economy,” said Garrett. “Higher education is the engine that drives growth and prosperity in our state and profoundly changes the lives of individual Oklahomans.”
Garrett was named chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education in September 2021 following a national search. Before assuming the role of chancellor, Garrett served as the 17th president of Emporia State University. Prior to serving as president of ESU, Garrett served as executive vice president of Abilene Christian University, senior vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Christian University, and as an associate professor of law at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. She worked for more than a decade at the Walmart Inc. corporate offices, holding the positions of vice president and general counsel for the corporate division and vice president of benefits compliance and planning. Garrett holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Oklahoma Christian University, a juris doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law and a Master of Laws in securities regulation from Georgetown University.
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, 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.
Chair Hickman, Fairview, is the immediate past Oklahoma Speaker of the House. Former Oklahoma Attorney General Michael C. Turpen, Oklahoma City, is vice chairman. Retired Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven W. Taylor, McAlester, serves as secretary of the board, and former State Representative Dennis Casey, Morrison, is assistant secretary. The other State Regents comprising the board are Jay Helm, Tulsa; Ann Holloway, Ardmore; Joseph L. Parker Jr., Tulsa; Jack Sherry, Holdenville; and Courtney Warmington, Edmond.