Howard Barnett to Lead OSU-Tulsa


The Oklahoma State University-Tulsa Board of Trustees voted to approve Howard Barnett as -Tulsa’s new president. The action was also approved by the /A&M Board of Regents.

President Burns Hargis, with support from the presidential search committee, recommended the Tulsa business executive to the Trustees during their special meeting. The recommendation was presented to the Board of Regents during its regularly scheduled meeting in Stillwater.

“Howard Barnett will bring a broad array of exceptional credentials to -Tulsa and the System,” Hargis says. “I am pleased to recommend him and believe his demonstrated leadership, active community involvement, success in fundraising and passion for the city of Tulsa and higher education will guide -Tulsa to new levels of achievement.”

Barnett says, “I’m very privileged and grateful for the confidence the search committee, President Hargis and the Trustees have placed in me. I have tremendous respect for -Tulsa’s success and achievements under Gary Trennepohl’s leadership. I will be honored to work with students, faculty and staff to aggressively pursue -Tulsa’s academic mission and build on the school’s vision for the future.”

Barnett’s selection was made following a four-month, national search for a successor to Dr. Gary Trennepohl, who will return to a full-time faculty position after serving as -Tulsa’s president for 10 years.

Larry Mocha, -Tulsa Trustee and chair of the search committee, says Barnett’s communication skills and experience in both the private and public sectors will benefit -Tulsa.

“To understand the confidence we have in Howard Barnett, you really need to look at the qualifications of the pool of candidates who were interested in being president of -Tulsa,” Mocha says. “The pool was exceptional. Throughout his career, Howard has created solid relationships with business, political and civic leaders throughout the state and has been a strong fundraiser for many of the organizations he’s served, which is an increasingly vital part of leading a university. We’re excited for him to put those skills to work for -Tulsa.”

Barnett is the managing director of Capital in Tulsa. He earned a juris doctorate from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Tulsa.

A life-long Tulsan, Barnett served as chief of staff for Gov. Frank Keating and as the Oklahoma secretary of commerce. Earlier this year, Barnett was the chief negotiator for the Medical Center Trust in its acquisition of the Medical Center from Ardent Health Systems. He is also a former chairman of the Tulsa Metro Chamber and president of Leadership Oklahoma.

Barnett and his wife of 35 years, Billie, have been involved with many local and state civic and charitable organizations including the Tulsa Ballet, the Salvation Army, The Oklahoma Academy, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, Philbrook Museum of Art, the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa and Youth Services of Tulsa.

A starting date will be set soon. Trennepohl will remain president of -Tulsa until the new president is in office.

Updated 09-28-2009

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