Oklahoma State University announced today the OSU/A&M Regents voted unanimously to select V. Burns Hargis at the school’s 18th president at a special meeting in Stillwater.
“I love this university. It means so much to me and I want to see it excel and succeed on all fronts. I am grateful for the confidence shown in me by the Board of Regents and the Search Committee and I look forward to championing initiatives aimed at furthering academic quality and research excellence,” Hargis said in a statement. “OSU and the System must be competitive in academics, research, and athletics.”
Former president David Schmidly resigned in April to be the University of New Mexico president.
Hargis, who graduated from the school in 1967, has been vice chairman for the Bank of Oklahoma for the last 10 years and earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. Formerly an OSU/A&M regent, Hargis turned in a letter of resignation July 2 to Gov. Brad Henry to pursue the presidential post.
“Burns Hargis is a distinguished civic and business leader and, as a graduate of OSU, has tremendous respect for our land-grant heritage and our statewide mission,” said Lou Watkins, Chair of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents, in a statement. “His passion for OSU and his leadership, energy, and extensive national network of civic, political, and business leaders superbly prepares him for the challenges and opportunities inherent in the President’s Office. He is the right leader at the right time.”
OSU said Sept. 12 the search for its new president entered a new phase as the 33-member search committee met to begin evaluating nominees and applicants during a regularly scheduled meeting.
Candidate materials were assembled during a six-week national advertising initiative aimed at attracting a pool of viable applicants to consider. The committee met with Bill Funk of R. William Funk and Associates, the presidential search consultant engaged by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents.
OSU officials said in a statement the compensation arrangement will be finalized and announced at a later date.
Hargis also appears on the KFOR weekly television series, “Flash Point.” – Gazette staff