DURANT — Sen. Sean Burrage, D-Claremore, has been named the 20th president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He will start the job July 1.
The Board of Regents for the Regional University System of Oklahoma voted to hire Burrage in a special meeting Thursday in Oklahoma City, after interviewing five candidates, Chairman Richard Ogden said Friday.
Ogden said Burrage was selected “because of the vision he expressed with regard to how he would like to lead Southeastern.”
His ability to communicate, raise money, work with people and build alliances made him the right person for the job, Ogden said.
“We are very happy he took the position,” he said.
Ogden said a 19-member search committee reviewed 35 applicants and recommend individuals to the regents for further consideration.
Burrage is completing his second term as Oklahoma’s District 2 senator. He announced in November that he would not seek a third term in office. He has served in the Senate since 2006 and was elected Democratic floor leader in November 2011.
“It’s like coming home for me,” Burrage said in a news release. “I lived the first three years of my life in Durant while my parents (former U.S. District Judge Michael Burrage and school principal Aletha Burrage) were going to school at Southeastern. There is no other place I’d rather be. I see so much opportunity for growth at Southeastern and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Burrage is an attorney who earned his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1993.
He will succeed Larry Minks, who announced April 1 that he would be stepping down as president of Southeastern effective July 1.
Minks will remain at the university as president emeritus and Distinguished University Professor of Leadership. He has been appointed to serve as the director of the new Center for Transformational Leadership at Southeastern.