At their meeting yesterday, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education elected real estate investor Jack Sherry of Holdenville as chairman of the board; former State Representative Dennis Casey of Morrison, vice chairman; retired Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven W. Taylor of McAlester, secretary; and attorney Courtney Warmington of Edmond, assistant secretary. The new officer team will lead the nine-member board throughout the 2023-24 fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2024.

“We thank Chair Turpen for his excellent leadership over the last year,” Sherry said. “We have an important slate of priorities to address in the coming year as we implement the recommendations contained in our new strategic plan, Blueprint 2030. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on innovating to serve Oklahoma students, meet our state’s current and future workforce needs, and enhance operational efficiency as a system.”

Appointed to the State Regents in 2020, Sherry owns Jack Sherry Real Estate & Investments in Holdenville and operates a cattle ranch in Hughes and Seminole Counties. He was appointed by former Governor Mary Fallin to serve on the Oklahoma Lottery Commission Board and served as a Trustee to the Seminole State College Educational Foundation prior to his appointment as a State Regent. Sherry 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. He has also served on the Holdenville Public School Board of Education, the Holdenville Chamber of Commerce, Holdenville Lions Club, Oklahoma Southeast and Young Farmers of America, the FSA State Board, Hughes County Cattleman’s Association, and Hughes County Fair Board. He was recognized as Holdenville’s 2015 Citizen of the Year. Sherry attended Oklahoma State University and Seminole State College, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Nazarene University.

“Regent Sherry’s experiences serving Oklahoma in both K-12 and higher education will be invaluable as we continue encouraging Oklahomans to prepare for college and complete degrees,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett. “We look forward to his leadership in our ongoing efforts to meet growing workforce needs in healthcare, teacher education, engineering, computer science and other STEM fields.”

Casey, appointed to the State Regents in 2020, is a retired public-school educator, coach, principal, and superintendent, and owns and operates a cow/calf operation and custom hay cutting business near Morrison. He served four terms in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives, representing District 35, and was a leader on the House Appropriations Committee. Casey spent 30 years in public education teaching, coaching, and as an administrator. As a high school athletic coach, his teams achieved ten state championships and three academic state championships. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010. Casey holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Northeastern State University.

Appointed in 2019, Taylor is a retired Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. He previously served as Associate District Judge and as Chief Judge of the 18th Judicial District. In over 20 years as a trial judge, Taylor presided over more than 500 jury trials, including the state trial of the Oklahoma City Bombing. He is a former mayor of McAlester, and served in the United States Marine Corps as a prosecutor, defense counsel, and ultimately, as a Special Court Martial Judge. He became the youngest judge in the U.S. Armed Forces at the age of 28 and was later promoted to the rank of Major. Taylor is a board member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and serves on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. He currently serves as Chairman of the Puterbaugh Foundation in McAlester and is a past Chairman of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Warmington, appointed to the State Regents in 2021, is an attorney with the law firm of Fuller Tubb Bickford Warmington & Panach, PLLC. Regent Warmington represents and advises employers on all matters affecting the employment relationship. She practiced for more than 17 years in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at the law firm of Crowe & Dunlevy and served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Oklahoma Department of Labor. Warmington has been listed in the Top 25 Women Oklahoma Super Lawyers since 2014 and is listed in the Chambers USA Directory (2011-present) and Best Lawyers (2012-present). She is a member of the American Bar Association and Oklahoma Bar Association, and is a past member of the Luther Bohannon Inn of Court, Oklahoma City Human Resources Society, Oklahoma Human Resource State Council, and Federal Bar Association. Warmington is a member of Phi Delta Phi, Order of the Barristers and winner of the Oklahoma City University Alumni Association Outstanding Service Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a Juris Doctorate from OCU’s School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude.

The other State Regents comprising the board are Mitch Adwon of Tulsa, Jeffrey W. Hickman of Fairview, Dustin Hilliary of Lawton, Ann Holloway of Ardmore, and Michael C. Turpen of Oklahoma City.

The State Regents are the constitutional coordinating board for the 25 public colleges and universities of the Oklahoma state system of higher education. The State Regents prescribe academic standards of higher education; determine functions and courses of study at state colleges and universities; grant degrees; request appropriations on behalf of state system institutions; set tuition and fees; approve institutional allocations; upon review, provide final approval of institutional budgets following governing board approval and submission; and manage numerous scholarships and special programs. The nine citizens who comprise the board are appointed to nine-year terms by the Governor and confirmed by the state Senate.