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Askins named Cameron’s interim president

Cameron University’s governing board today announced the tentative appointment of Jari Askins as interim president of the institution, pending formal approval by the board at its June meeting. Her first day on the job would be July 22.

Askins has a lengthy history of service that includes being the state’s lieutenant governor, a dozen years in the Oklahoma legislature – including serving as Democratic minority leader in the House – and currently as Administrative Director of the Courts.

“Jari Askins is highly regarded – and rightfully so – for her service to Oklahoma,” said Eric Stevenson, chair of the Board of Regents for the University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University. “She is a judge, a native of southwest Oklahoma, and is familiar with Cameron and its operation. The Board feels CU will be in extremely capable hands while we conduct the search for the university’s next president.”

President John M. McArthur announced in January that he would retire as Cameron’s leader after 20 years at the institution, 11 of them as president. His last day at CU will be July 21.

A Duncan native, Askins has served the state for more than four decades in roles that range from special district judge in Stephens County, to chair – and later executive director – of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, and as deputy general counsel to Gov. David Walters. She was District 50 State Representative for the maximum limit of 12 years, and then one term as lieutenant governor. She has the unique distinction of serving in all three branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial.

After leaving office, Askins was Associate Provost for External Relations at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center for three years, with the Stephenson Cancer Center as her primary focus. Gov. Mary Fallin appointed her as Special Adviser to the Governor on Child Welfare issues and Pinnacle Plan implementation, a role that helped the state reform the foster care system caring for deprived and neglected children.

Askins will conclude her service as Administrative Director of the Courts on June 30. In that role under the supervision of the Chief Justice and the Oklahoma Supreme Court, she coordinates judicial operations and personnel throughout the state.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, as well as a Juris Doctorate from the OU College of Law.

Askins will serve in her interim role while Regents complete a national search for Cameron’s 18th president.



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