Oklahoma City resident Michael C. Turpen was recently sworn in as a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. He replaces fellow Oklahoma City lawyer, Cheryl Hunter, who recently completed her nine-year term on the board. Turpen’s term expires in May 2018.
“We welcome Regent Turpen to the State Regents,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “His prior public service, experience and understanding of the importance of higher education in Oklahoma will be invaluable to our board and the state system.”
Turpen earned his juris doctorate from The University of Tulsa, and is a member of the American, Oklahoma, Oklahoma County and Tulsa County bar associations, as well as the Oklahoma Bar Foundation.
Turpen is a partner in the law firm of Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis in Oklahoma City. Before joining the firm in 1987, he served as attorney general for the state of Oklahoma. Turpen has also held the positions of Muskogee police legal advisor, Muskogee County district attorney, Muskogee chief prosecutor and first assistant district attorney.
Turpen is a member of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association, Oklahoma Academy of State Goals and the Rotary Club and board member of Lyric Theater.
Before receiving his juris doctorate in 1975, Turpen graduated from The University of Tulsa in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in history.
Turpen is married with three children. He is a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education is a nine-member constitutional board that coordinates all public institutions in Oklahoma. The board prescribes academic standards of higher education, determines functions and courses of study at state colleges and universities, grants degrees, recommends to the Legislature budget allocations for each college and university, recommends proposed fees within limits set by the Legislature and manages numerous scholarships and special programs. State regents are appointed by the governor for nine-year terms.