Oklahoma Higher Education Regents Announce New Chancellor

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The president of Emporia State University in Kansas was chosen Friday as the next chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Allison Garrett, the first woman selected as chancellor, will succeed Glen Johnson, who is retiring Nov. 7 after 14 years as chancellor. Garrett will take office Nov. 8, said regents Chair Jeffrey Hickman.

In September 2020, Johnson announced plans to retire at the end of 2020, more than a year after Gov. Kevin Stitt sought his ouster.

The regents supported Johnson, who remained chancellor beyond his planned retirement as the search for his replacement was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Garrett, president of Emporia State since 2016, previously was an administrator at Abilene Christian University in Texas and at Oklahoma Christian University.

She also worked as an executive at Walmart, which is based in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“One of the things that impressed me was her corporate experience," Stitt said. “She was the general counsel and vice president at Walmart ... that is a big-time job.”

Garrett said she is honored and grateful to be chosen.

“Education opens doors for people, it ensures vibrant communities and it helps to ensure a robust economy,” Garrett said.

The regents oversee Oklahoma's 25 public universities and colleges.