Mike Turpen Elected to Lead State Regents

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently elected former Oklahoma Attorney General and Riggs Abney attorney Michael C. Turpen of Oklahoma City as chairman of the board.

“We thank Chair Hickman for his leadership as our board chair over the last year. Following a positive legislative session yielding additional investment in public higher education, we have an important slate of priorities to address in the coming year,” Turpen said. “Looking ahead, we will continue focusing on affordability, incentivizing development of innovative academic offerings to meet current and future workforce needs, seeking additional operational efficiencies, and expanding strategic partnerships to better serve Oklahoma students.”

Appointed to the State Regents in 2009 and reappointed in 2018, Turpen is a partner in the law firm of Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis in Oklahoma City. Turpen served as Muskogee County district attorney from 1977-82 and was elected Oklahoma attorney general in 1982. He appears weekly on Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR’s award-winning public affairs show, “Flashpoint.” Turpen is president of the Lyric Theatre Board of Directors and serves on the boards of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, Oklahoma State Fair Board, United Way, and Allied Arts. He is a member of the American, Oklahoma, Tulsa County and Oklahoma County bar associations, as well as a founding fellow of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and a faculty member of the National College of District Attorneys. Turpen holds a bachelor’s degree in history and law degree from The University of Tulsa.

“Regent Turpen’s professional and civic experiences and contributions are invaluable to this board, and to the public colleges and universities and students we serve,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett. “We look forward to his leadership in the coming year as we focus on meeting growing workforce needs in teacher education and STEM fields, including engineering and computer science.”


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