Tulsa native Ken Levit was sworn in as a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education during today’s meeting by Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger. His appointment by Gov. Kevin Stitt was recently confirmed by both the Senate Education Committee and the full Senate.

“We welcome Ken Levit to the State Regents,” said chair Jack Sherry. “Regent Levit’s leadership will greatly benefit the state system of higher education and the students we serve. His background in the Oklahoma higher education system and recognition of the value of a college degree will help us keep moving Oklahoma forward.”

Levit will serve a nine-year term that expires in May 2033. He succeeds State Regent Emeritus Ann Holloway, whose term ended May 16.

“I look forward to working closely with Regent Levit,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett. “As we focus on continuing to strengthen workforce development, Regent Levit’s prior service as president of OU-Tulsa and extensive corporate expertise will advance our work to produce more college graduates.”

Since 2006, Levit has served as the executive director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization. He was OU-Tulsa’s president from 2001-06 before moving to the foundation. He worked as an attorney at Tulsa-based Crowe and Dunlevy before serving as an adviser to former CIA Director George Tenet and then as an executive at Williams Communications in Tulsa.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve the students of Oklahoma as a regent for higher education,” said Levit. “Looking ahead, I’m filled with optimism for the future of higher education and committed to helping Oklahoma remain and grow as a hub for innovation and excellence. I’m grateful to Gov. Stitt for entrusting me with this important responsibility.”

Levit is involved in numerous civic activities. He served as co-chair of Teach For America-Oklahoma and as a member of the Teach For America National Council. Levit served on the Tulsa Regional Chamber Tulsa’s Future Steering Committee, led the board of the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, and is a board member of Arts Alliance Tulsa. Other boards and commissions include the Oklahoma State University Medical Authority, the Economic Development Generating Excellence (EDGE) board, the Higher Ed Research Fund and the Tulsa River Parks Authority. He is a graduate of Brown University and earned a law degree from Yale University.

The State Regents are the constitutional coordinating board for the 25 public colleges and universities of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. 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 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.

Oklahoma’s public universities have the eighth-lowest cost of attendance in the country. The number of engineering degrees and certificates conferred by state system institutions increased 43.1% over the last 10 years, and STEM degrees increased 19.2% at all degree levels. Of Oklahomans who graduate from a state system college or university, 96% remain and work in the state one year after graduation.