OSU chooses esteemed alum as next university president

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TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – After an extensive national search, Oklahoma State University has stayed close to home to select their new president.

Late Friday night, regents were introducing an esteemed alum and current OSU administrator as their new leader in Stillwater.

“As a medical student at Oklahoma State University, I would have never imagined this day,” said Dr. Kayse Shrum.

Shrum is reflecting on her long journey to become the 19th and first female president at Oklahoma State University.

“I’m so honored and humbled by this appointment. OSU has a special place in my heart and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to lead this vibrant university,” said Shrum.

Dr. Shrum is a former pediatrician who currently serves as the president of the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa.

“This committee spent a great deal of time in committing this national search,” said OSU Regent Rick Davis.

OSU started that search back in October as current President Burns Hargis announced this school year would be his last in charge after 13 years in Stillwater

“I was thrilled when I awakened to learn that regents had appointed Kayse Shrum as my successor.”

President Hargis say Dr. Shrum is level headed with a proven track record at OSU.

“She is very thoughtful and probably not as volatile as I can be. I think she is just going to do a fabulous job,” said Hargis.

“Our national search brought us back home with the selection of Dr. Kayse Shrum. She is an effective leader. She is an innovative thinker and she understands the value of collaborations and partnerships,” said Regent Joe Hall.

Dr. Shrum was a key piece in establishing the National Center for Wellness and Recovery within the OSU system following the state’s opioid settlements. She also gets credit for working with the Cherokee Nation to establish the country’s first tribally-affiliated medical school, the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation.

Others are weighing in on the hire.

“The OSU Board of Regents made a fantastic choice. Dr. Shrum has led the OSU Center for Health Sciences with distinction and I’m confident that, under her leadership, OSU will continue to flourish as it has under President Hargis. “

OU President Joseph Harroz, Jr.

Governor Kevin Stitt saying, “Dr. Kayse Shrum is a great leader, extremely smart and dedicated to serving others. She answered the call to serve in my Cabinet and played a crucial role in guiding and protecting Oklahomans during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. “

Dr Shrum says her husband Darin and their six grown children are excited about the family’s move from Coweta to Stillwater.

Shrum will reportedly officially be confirmed by the OSU Board of Regents later this month and will take over for President Hargis in July.

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