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Oklahoma Higher Ed Chancellor Delays Retirement Due To Coronavirus


Oklahoma's top higher education official will delay his retirement to help the state deal with pains created by COVID-19 closures.

Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson will stay on ten months longer than he originally intended. He was slated to retire at the end of this year after receiving pressure from Governor Kevin Stitt to leave his post in 2019. At that time, Stitt told the Tulsa World he believed Johnson had been in the job too long and it was time for "a new quarterback" to oversee Oklahoma higher education.

But because of what was labeled turmoil created by coronavirus, Johnson will now retire on September 30 of 2021. A news release said the search process for his replacement has been delayed by coronavirus.

"We are grateful that Chancellor Johnson is willing to extend his service to the state during this time of unique and unprecedented challenges to higher education," said Joseph L. Parker Jr., State Regents’ chair. "Chancellor Johnson’s leadership and knowledge of the system will enable us to preserve and strengthen the state system."

Johnson, a former state legislator and university president, has led Oklahoma’s higher education system for more than a decade, a period that’s seen sharp cuts in funding from the state.

Last week, a 16-state task force organized by the southern Regional Education Board announced Johnson would be its leader in steering colleges through the crisis.

Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
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