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February 22, 2006 :: Chancellor Emeritus Hans Brisch Remembered as a Higher Education Advocate

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Dr. Hans Brisch, chancellor emeritus of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, died this morning after a long and courageous battle with brain cancer. He was 66.

Brisch served as the chief executive officer of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education from 1987-2003. He led a state system comprised of 25 state colleges and universities, nine constituent agencies, two higher education centers and independent colleges and universities coordinated with the State System. He became chancellor emeritus Jan. 5, 2003, when he was succeeded by Dr. Paul G. Risser.

During his tenure, Brisch developed and implemented an aggressive agenda focused on student success, improving program quality, hiring and retaining first-rate faculty, excellence, and efficiency.

Chancellor Risser commended Brisch for his service to Oklahoma’s college students. “Hans left a tremendous legacy of hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans whose lives were enriched by his vision for higher education," said Risser. "He was a tireless advocate for access to higher education and oversaw a period of tremendous growth in enrollment.”

Cheryl Hunter, chairman of the State Regents, praised Brisch’s dedication. “In addition to his hard work as a professional, his personal philanthropy made possible the creation of the Chancellor’s Scholarship," said Hunter. "Hans made a real difference in this state, and he will be sorely missed.”

Brisch was born in 1940 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He immigrated to the United States in 1957 and supported himself through work, scholarships and loans to earn a high school diploma and his college degrees. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1964.

Brisch is survived by his wife, Margaret Gatton Brisch of Edmond, and three children. Arrangements are being made by Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond. Services will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church at 4400 N. Shartel in Oklahoma City. Interment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery at Memorial Rd and Kelly Blvd.

The family is requesting that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Chancellor's Scholarship Fund. For more information, contact the State Regents office at 405.225.9100.