OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Senate has approved the nomination of an Ohio man to the OU Board of Regents, despite some opposition.
Last month, Gov. Kevin Stitt nominated Eric Stevenson to serve as the next member of the Board of Regents for the University of Oklahoma.
He graduated from OU and is currently an executive at Nationwide Financial who lives in Ohio.
“Because of their financial difficulties, I thought it was important that we have someone with business acumen, someone who’s been at a big business as well as understands employees and running small businesses,” Stitt said.
Stevenson was criticized after he said that he would stay in Ohio and fly to Oklahoma for board meetings. However, he says he will pay his own travel expenses.
The Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus questioned if Stevenson could truly know about events and issues on the campus if he lived in another state.
“I didn’t care that he lived in Columbus, Ohio. It would be better if he lived in Norman… but he’s the right guy for the job,” Stitt said.
On Monday, the Oklahoma Senate approved Stevenson’s nomination.
“I have carried many executive nominees through the confirmation process in the Oklahoma Senate, but none has been better suited or more qualified for their post as Eric Stevenson is to serve on the OU Board of Regents. As an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma, I am confident that Mr. Stevenson’s leadership will be instrumental in moving OU forward,” Sen. Greg Treat said.
“We are very pleased to have Eric join the Regents. I particularly appreciate the leadership and support of the State Senate and Senator Greg Treat for their deliberative process and support of Eric’s confirmation. Eric’s large corporation experience in organizational leadership, governance and communications as well as being a loyal OU graduate will be most beneficial and impactful as a member of the Board,” said OU Regents chairman Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes.