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OSU President Kayse Shrum announces leadership for OSU-Tulsa campus

Published: Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Oklahoma State University President Kayse Shrum has selected key members of her leadership team for the OSU-Tulsa campus. 

“As we look to the future and how Oklahoma State University will continue serving as the four-year public research institution in the Tulsa metro area and northeastern Oklahoma, it’s imperative we have a strong leadership team in place to strategically implement programs and partnerships for degree completion and workforce development,” said Dr. Shrum. 

Dr. Johnny Stephens has been named interim president of the OSU-Tulsa campus. Stephens will continue as the interim president of OSU Center for Health Sciences and senior vice president for health affairs for the OSU System. His long career in higher education includes serving as a faculty member, researcher and assistant dean at the OSU Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS). Most recently he served as chief operating officer and senior vice president for OSU-CHS. In these roles, Stephens will oversee the work of OSU’s Tulsa entities for increased efficiency and strategic alignment of management and academic offerings. Stephens will succeed Dr. Pamela Fry who announced in July her plans to retire in January.

Chris Benge has been named interim senior vice president for the OSU-Tulsa campus. In this role he will oversee the day-to-day operations and execution of strategic priorities for the campus. A first-generation college graduate of OSU-Tulsa, Benge brings a wealth of expertise in both the private and public sector. Benge has served extensively in state government, including as chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee and as speaker of the Oklahoma House. A member of the Cherokee Nation, he also served as secretary of state and Native American affairs under Gov. Mary Fallin. In Tulsa, Benge served as an advisor to Mayor Dewey Bartlett and also as senior vice president of government affairs at the Tulsa Regional Chamber. Most recently he has served as the executive director of Rural and Tribal Health Policy at the OSU Center for Health Sciences’ Center for Rural Health. 

“Johnny Stephens and Chris Benge are proven leaders who will help advance our land grant mission of research, teaching and service,” said Shrum. “I look forward to working with them to serve Tulsa and northeastern Oklahoma, growing the population which holds bachelor’s and advanced degrees, collaborating with our neighbors in north Tulsa and contributing to economic impact throughout the state.”

Dr. Johnny Stephens (left) and Chris Benge
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Media Contact: Aaron Campbell | 918-594-8046 | aaron.ross.campbell@okstate.edu