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Oklahoma higher ed chancellor to lead 16-state task force on COVID-19 pandemic recovery

Oklahoma higher ed chancellor to lead 16-state task force on COVID-19 pandemic recovery

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Glen Johnson


Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson will lead a new 16-state task force on how to address the challenges facing colleges, universities and their students during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.

The newly launched Higher Education Recovery Task Force will bring together higher education leaders from Southern Regional Education Board states — Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

It will hold its first meeting by next week.

“Once again, states across our region are coming together to learn from each other, strengthening our expertise as we each face important decisions ahead,” said Johnson, who announced in September his intent to retire this December, after 38 years in top state leadership roles.

Some of the issues the task force will tackle include:

How states’ colleges and universities will find the resources to endure and provide quality teaching and support for each student.

How institutions will reopen and maintain safe campuses.

How institutions can improve online teaching and make broadband and technology more available for staff and students.

How institutions will provide financial, academic and personal support for students dealing with the crisis.

State chiefs of higher education will appoint up to three representatives each from the two- and four-year college sectors. Experts from the national State Higher Education Executive Officers Association are also invited to participate.

The higher education task force will coordinate its efforts with SREB’s newly formed K-12 Education Recovery Task Force so that leaders from all levels of education can collaborate.

Co-chairman and SREB President Stephen Pruitt said, “Our states’ future depends in part on colleges and universities’ ability to help more students into and through the degrees and credentials our workforce now demands.”

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Andrea Eger 918-581-8470

Twitter: @AndreaEger


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Staff Writer

I'm a projects reporter, examining key education topics and other local issues. Since joining the Tulsa World in 1999, I have been a three-time winner of Oklahoma’s top award for investigative reporting by an individual. Phone: 918-581-8470

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