OKLAHOMA VOICE: Stitt calls Oklahoma Senate into special session to consider a new higher ed appointment

In a surprise move, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has called the Oklahoma Senate into a special session to consider a new appointment to the State Regents for Higher Education. The special session, which is set to convene on Monday, has sparked interest and speculation among lawmakers, educators, and the general public.

The appointment in question is that of Dr. Julie Daniels, a Tulsa-based businesswoman and educator, who has been nominated by Governor Stitt to fill a vacant seat on the State Regents for Higher Education. The State Regents is a constitutional board that oversees Oklahoma’s higher education system, including its 25 public colleges and universities.

Governor Stitt’s decision to call a special session has been seen as a bold move, given that the Oklahoma Legislature is not scheduled to reconvene until February. However, the Governor’s office has stated that the appointment is time-sensitive and requires immediate attention.

The special session is expected to be brief, with lawmakers set to convene on Monday morning to consider Dr. Daniels’ nomination. If confirmed, Dr. Daniels would fill a seat that has been vacant since July, when former Regent John Massey resigned.

Dr. Daniels, who has a background in education and business, has been praised by Governor Stitt for her commitment to improving Oklahoma’s higher education system. Her nomination has also been endorsed by several prominent Oklahoma educators and business leaders.

While the special session is expected to be a formality, it has sparked some debate among lawmakers and educators. Some have questioned the need for a special session, given the short notice and the fact that the Legislature is not scheduled to reconvene for several months. Others have expressed concerns about the qualifications and experience of Dr. Daniels, who has no prior experience in higher education governance.

Despite these concerns, Governor Stitt’s office remains confident that Dr. Daniels is the right person for the job. “Dr. Daniels is a highly qualified and dedicated individual who will bring a fresh perspective to the State Regents,” said a spokesperson for the Governor’s office. “We are confident that she will be confirmed by the Senate and will serve the people of Oklahoma well.”

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