STILLWATER, Okla. — Burns Hargis announced his retirement as Oklahoma State University president on Friday.
Hargis made the special announcement during a Oklahoma State University A&M Board of Regents meeting. Hargis said his retirement is set for July 1, 2021.
Ann and I have been blessed and honored to serve Oklahoma State University the past 12-and-a-half years. The opportunity to be president of my alma mater exceeded all my expectations. OSU is a special place. It is where I found friends who became family for a young man who lived in many different places growing up. I received an excellent education, preparing me for my careers in law and banking, and culminating at OSU as president. Ann and I are grateful for the faith and trust extended to us by the Regents and the support from faculty, staff, students, and alumni. There remains much work to be done, and in that regard, I look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead, and welcoming a new president next summer.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt congratulated Hargis on his announcement.
My sincere congratulations to Burns Hargis today upon announcing his plans to retire next year as president of Oklahoma State University. Along with First Cowgirl Ann Hargis, Burns has overseen an extraordinary resurgence at OSU during the past 12 plus years and has been a transformational leader. As a graduate of OSU, I am proud of my alma mater and as governor, I am grateful to both Burns and Ann for their exceptional service.
OSU/A&M Board of Regents Chair Rick Davis said in a press release they will be conducting a national search for the next president of OSU.
President Hargis has led OSU and the system through a time of historic growth and change for nearly 13 years. He seized many opportunities to transform our campuses, academic programs, and research endeavors while confronting many challenges, the latest being the COVID-19 situation. His continued leadership over the next several months will ensure we can conduct a purposeful, wide-ranging process to find the right person who can build on the current momentum and lead OSU for years to come.
The search includes outreaching to those who can offer valuable input including the OSU community, students, faculty, alumni and supporters. Officials said the next president will be appointed prior to Hargis' retirement in July.
University of Oklahoma's president Joseph Harroz Jr. applauded President Hargis' exceptional tenure and the education achievements he made during his time as president.
President Hargis has had an exceptional tenure as President of Oklahoma State University. His achievements in education are consistent with his contributions in banking, the law, and in public policy. He is a valued and preeminent alumnus of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and is a tremendous ambassador for the state of Oklahoma these many years. He’s rightly beloved by proud Cowboys everywhere, and our entire state owes him deep thanks for his service to higher education in Oklahoma. Burns is a friend, and I count myself fortunate to have served alongside him. My heartfelt congratulations to you, Burns, on a well-earned retirement!
Hargis became the 18th president of OSU and took office on March 10, 2008, according to the Oklahoma State University's website.
Hargis graduated from OSU with a degree in accounting. He is the second OSU graduate to be president of the university.
Oklahoma State University is one of the country's most comprehensive land-grant university systems, having over 35,000 students and 7,000 employees on four campuses. Those campuses are in Stillwater, Tulsa, Okmulgee and Oklahoma City.
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