Allison D. Garrett, the Chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, announced today plans to retire from the leadership position in January 2025. She took office as Oklahoma’s ninth chancellor in November 2021.

“Education changes lives, opening doors and lighting pathways for people to realize their God-given potential and achieve their dreams,” said Garrett. “Serving the people of Oklahoma and working collaboratively with our State Regents, elected officials, campus personnel, and business and community partners to help move this great state forward has been an honor. As I look ahead to a career capstone opportunity to complete an international project in late fall and the prospect of spending more time with family, I am filled with gratitude for the privilege to serve as Chancellor and to work to make a positive impact on both Oklahoma’s workforce and in the lives of individual students across this state.”

As Chancellor, Garrett is the chief executive officer for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, leading a state system comprised of 25 state colleges and universities, 11 constituent agencies, one university center, and independent colleges and universities coordinated with the state system. She provides leadership on matters relating to standards for Oklahoma higher education, courses and programs of study, budget allocations for institutions, fees and tuition, and strategic planning.

Garrett leads OneNet, Oklahoma’s most advanced technology network designed to provide the infrastructure to support high-speed broadband services, and the Oklahoma College Assistance Program. She directs 20 statewide scholarship programs, including Oklahoma’s Promise, and statewide GEAR UP efforts. Garrett represents Oklahoma public higher education as a member of several professional, state and national organizations, including serving on the executive committee of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).

“We thank Chancellor Garrett for her tireless service and advocacy on behalf of Oklahoma’s higher education system,” said State Regents’ Chair Dennis Casey. “Under her leadership, we developed Blueprint 2030, our comprehensive strategic plan to advance public higher education; increased the number of college graduates, including in key fields such as engineering and nursing; updated policies, empowering our institutions to respond faster to business needs; created the first statewide committee focused on AI impacts in higher education in the nation; and developed interactive data dashboards, among many other key accomplishments. We respect her decision and the time she is providing that will allow us to develop and execute a succession plan.”

“Chancellor Allison Garrett has demonstrated remarkable vision and leadership during her tenure, driving significant progress and innovation within our state system of higher education,” said State Regent Michael C. Turpen. “Her dedication to excellence has set a standard of achievement that will guide us well into the future. We are deeply grateful for her transformative impact.”

“Chancellor Garrett can take great pride in the progress made under her leadership,” said State Regent Jeff Hickman. “Her efforts to streamline and modernize our policies and processes for interfacing with Oklahoma’s 25 public universities and colleges are extraordinary. She assembled a talented staff and together, in partnership with our board, they continue to lead us through strategic innovations, eliminating a great deal of bureaucratic red tape at the agency, bringing efficiencies to the way we govern the state’s higher education system and positioning us for success in the months and years ahead as we work to transform our higher education system for the future.”

In addition to the ongoing progress in many areas during the Chancellor’s service, Hickman, former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and past chair of the State Regents, credited Garrett for her working relationships with Oklahoma senators and representatives.

“Chancellor Garrett and her team worked in partnership with legislators to achieve historic investments to finally begin addressing mounting deferred maintenance projects at campuses across our state, as well as funding to equip students with degrees to meet Oklahoma’s career needs of the future and to keep the cost of those degrees for students and their parents as affordable as possible,” Hickman said. “In numerous areas, she will leave Oklahoma’s system of higher education stronger than she found it, and I am confident she will hand our higher education agency off to the next Chancellor in a position of strength.”

“Chancellor Garrett’s service has been defined by her unwavering commitment to enhancing the quality and accessibility of higher education in Oklahoma,” said State Regent Mitch Adwon. “Her forward-thinking approach has fostered a culture of collaboration and progress across our institutions. We are profoundly appreciative of her efforts and the lasting impact she has made on our state’s educational landscape, and wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”

“Although I have only had the chance to work with Chancellor Garrett for a short time, I know she has led the State Regents with excellence and decency,” said State Regent Ken Levit. “She is a consummate professional and dedicated public servant who has helped advance our state and system of higher education in a thoughtful and meaningful manner. I am extremely grateful for her leadership and service to the young people who will be the leaders and difference-makers for Oklahoma’s future.”

Prior to her role as Chancellor, Garrett served in senior leadership roles at universities in three states, including as president, executive vice president and senior vice president for academic affairs. She also 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. Upon graduation from law school, she went into private practice before taking a position with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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.