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January 23, 2014

Governor names publisher as OU regent

NORMAN — Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed Bill Burgess Jr., of Lawton, to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

Burgess is the chairman of the board at Vortex, an investment corporation; publisher of the Lawton Constitution; and is a senior partner of Burgess & Hightower Law Firm.

He currently serves as civilian aide to the secretary of the Army, chairman of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, a trustee for the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and vice chair of the Oklahoma Heritage Association.

“Bill Burgess is a longtime public servant who brings a unique skill set to the board,” Fallin said. “As a successful businessman and a former regent, he knows what it takes for students to succeed in today’s competitive economy. Bill is going to work hard to ensure OU students are getting the great education they deserve and expect.”

Burgess will replace Regents chairman Rick Dunning, whose seven-year term ends soon.

OU President David L. Boren said the governor made an excellent choice.

“The governor has made an excellent choice in naming Rick Burgess, of Lawton, as a new Regent for the University of Oklahoma,” he said. “On the state regents, he was known as a person who put students first.”

Boren said Regent Dunning’s leadership and long-range vision will be missed. Burgess will begin his term in March.

Burgess has been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and previously served as chairman of the Citizens’ Commission on the Future of Oklahoma Higher Education, as well as chairman of the State Chamber of Oklahoma. He also served as a regent with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for 18 years, from 1993 to 2011.

Burgess received a bachelor’s degree from Cameron University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. Confirmation from the Oklahoma Senate is required for his appointment.

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