SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

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Barnett Named OSU-Tulsa’s New President

Photo of OSU-Tulsa's new president, Howard Barnett.
Tulsa business executive Howard Barnett will take over as president of OSU-Tulsa on Oct. 5, 2009.

Tulsa business executive Howard Barnett has been named Oklahoma State University-Tulsa’s new president.

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved the selection Sept 11. OSU President Burns Hargis recommended Barnett to the board following his receiving approval from the OSU-Tulsa Board of Trustees during their special meeting.

“Howard Barnett will bring a broad array of exceptional credentials to OSU-Tulsa and the OSU System,” Hargis said. “I am pleased to recommend him and believe his demonstrated leadership, active community involvement, success in fundraising, and passion for the city of Tulsa and higher education will guide OSU-Tulsa to new levels of achievement.”

Barnett said, “I’m very privileged and grateful for the confidence the search committee, President Hargis and the Trustees have placed in me. I have tremendous respect for OSU-Tulsa’s success and achievements under Gary Trennepohl’s leadership. I am honored to work with students, faculty and staff to aggressively pursue OSU-Tulsa’s academic mission and build on the school’s vision for the future.”

Barnett’s selection was made following a four-month, national search for a successor to Dr. Gary Trennepohl, who will return to a full-time faculty position after serving as OSU-Tulsa’s president for 10 years.

Larry Mocha, OSU-Tulsa trustee and chair of the presidential search committee, said Barnett’s communication skills and experience in both the private and public sectors will benefit OSU-Tulsa.

“To understand the confidence we have in Howard Barnett, you really need to look at the qualifications of the pool of candidates who were interested in being president of OSU-Tulsa," Mocha said. "The pool was exceptional. Throughout his career, Howard has created solid relationships with business, political and civic leaders throughout the state and has been a strong fundraiser for many of the organizations he’s served, which is an increasingly vital part of leading a university. We’re excited for him to put those skills to work for OSU-Tulsa.”

Barnett is the managing director of TSF Capital in Tulsa. He earned a juris doctorate from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Tulsa.

A life-long Tulsan, Barnett served as chief of staff for Gov. Frank Keating and as the Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce. Earlier this year, Barnett was the chief negotiator for the OSU Medical Center Trust in its acquisition of the OSU Medical Center from Ardent Health Systems. He is also a former chairman of the Tulsa Metro Chamber and president of Leadership Oklahoma.

Barnett and his wife of 35 years, Billie, have been involved with many local and state civic and charitable organizations including the Tulsa Ballet, the Salvation Army, The Oklahoma Academy, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, Philbrook Museum of Art, the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa and Youth Services of Tulsa.

Barnett will take over as president of OSU-Tulsa on Oct. 5, 2009. Trennepohl will remain in the office until that date.