American higher education has thrived under the unique concept of lay governance. If that tradition is to continue, qualified men and women must be selected to serve as regents, and they must also be educated to govern in situations of increased complexity and accelerating change.
A series of legislation was passed in Oklahoma during the late 1980s to improve Oklahoma higher education and increase its accountability. That activity was capped by the passage of bills in 1990 calling for a regents’ education program. The purpose of the program is to educate Oklahoma regents and trustees about the nature of their responsibilities and the seriousness with which they should be undertaken. More specifically, the program is to provide information and understandings that will allow regents and trustees to perform their public responsibilities and to govern successfully.
Each appointed or reappointed Regent/Trustee, must complete 15 hours of continuing education within two years of the date on which the Regent/Trustee takes office. Two of the 15 hours must be in ethics as required by law.
In support of the program, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education sponsors an Annual Conference which offers incoming and veteran Regents the opportunity to fulfill their continuting education hours.