Monday, May 1, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced she has appointed former House Speaker Jeff Hickman to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
Hickman, of Fairview, served as speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for three legislative terms from 2014-16. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2004 and served until 2016. He couldn’t seek re-election because of 12-year legislative term limits.
During his time in the House, Hickman, in addition to serving as speaker, was speaker pro tempore and chairman of the Insurance and Retirement Committee and of the public safety appropriations and budget, and revenue and taxation appropriations and budget subcommittees.
Hickman will serve a nine-year term that expires in May 2026, pending confirmation by the state Senate. He will replace James “Jimmy” Dean Harrell.
“I’m pleased former Speaker Hickman has agreed to serve as a state regent,” said Fallin. “His familiarity with the legislative process and state funding will be helpful to the state regents. He also is familiar with higher education issues as well as the needs of CareerTech and common education policy because of his legislative experience. Our colleges and universities are key to producing the kind of skilled and educated workforce we need in order to compete globally. As governor, I’ll continue to support our higher education institutions while always looking for ways we can improve.”
Since leaving the Legislature, Hickman has served as chief communications and compliance officer for the Great Salt Plains Health Center, with four sites in Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant and Blaine counties serving the surrounding region. He has been involved in his family’s farming operation in Alfalfa and Woods counties since childhood. He is now the fifth generation in his family to own and farm land in northwest Oklahoma.
Before being elected to the Legislature, Hickman worked at the University of Oklahoma (OU), serving as press secretary to the university president, special projects coordinator in the division of public affairs and as an assistant to the university’s president and to its athletic director.
“Governor Fallin has a steadfast commitment to improving our higher education system in Oklahoma, which I share,” Hickman said. “I will work to ensure our colleges, universities and higher education centers continue to provide a quality education for our students and the workforce that Oklahoma businesses need to succeed.”
Hickman earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction from OU. He and his wife, Jana, reside in Fairview.