Southeastern News

Southeastern president appointed to Board of Juvenile Affairs

President Burrage

President Burrage

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Sean Burrage is one of three new appointees to the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs. The seven-member board is appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin and confirmed by the Senate.

The Board of Juvenile Affairs is the governing body of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA). The OJA is is responsible for planning and coordinating statewide juvenile justice and delinquency prevention services.

Burrage will serve as a member representing the 2nd Congressional District. His four-year term begins July 2.

The Southeastern president was also named to the Task Force on the Future of Higher Education that was recently formed by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The 68-member task force, which was established at the State Regents’ March meeting, will conduct a systematic review of higher education in Oklahoma; examine existing initiatives and best practices; and report findings and recommendations on strategies that best support improving quality, access, affordability, and efficiency.

The Task Force includes regents, college and university presidents, citizens, and governmental designees.

Burrage is also a member of the Oklahoma Ordinance Works Authority.

Mike Davis completes fellowship with Council on Student Affairs Leadership Academy

Mike DavisDURANT, Okla. – Mike Davis, Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Director of Compliance & Safety, has recently completed a year-long fellowship with the Oklahoma Board of Regents Council on Student Affairs (COSA) Leadership Academy.

The COSA Leadership Academy is designed to facilitate professional growth and enrichment for student affairs specialists at Oklahoma’s colleges and universities.  As a COSA Leadership Academy Fellow, Davis participated in a series of issue-oriented forums led by experienced Higher Education professionals from across the state on topics such as accreditation, legal issues, enrollment management, and diversity.

The Fellowship is exclusive to professionals who have been nominated by the senior student affairs officer of their home institution.

Sharon Robinson, retired Southeastern Vice President for Student Affairs,  nominated Davis last spring.

Davis, who began his career with Southeastern in the Student Affairs division in 2010, has previously been a Hall Director in the Department of Housing and Residence Life. He has also served as Coordinator of Disability Services.

Davis holds a Law Degree from the University of Oklahoma. He earned his undergraduate degree from Southeastern.

First United Bank honored with Regents Partnership Award

awardjpgDURANT, Okla. – Twenty-eight business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recognized recently as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.

Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships that enable current students to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.

Among the honorees were Southeastern Oklahoma State University and First United Bank. The partnership between Southeastern Oklahoma State University and First United Bank, a family-owned, Oklahoma-based bank, has lasted for two generations. Greg Massey serves as president and CEO of the bank and carries on the family tradition started by his father, John, as a leader not only within his own community of Durant, but also throughout the state. Massey and the team at First United are committed to the economic development of the community of Durant through their contributions as a significant employer in the region and an economic engine within the state. This partnership includes participation in building projects, scholarship programs, alumni activities, and programs dedicated to seeing the university thrive. Additionally, the support they provide the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, which has been housed at Southeastern since its inception 31 years ago, shows their desire to see small businesses thrive not only in the communities they serve, but throughout Oklahoma.

“Our state system institutions collaborate with the business community to link academic programs directly to employment needs,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These partnerships allow our colleges and universities to provide innovative, interactive learning experiences for students that align with workforce requirements today and in the future.”

“We are very appreciative of the support of First United Bank,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “First United is a business that is truly engaged in communities all across Oklahoma. And the Masseys recognize the value of education and the role it plays in the future of our state.’’


Southeastern addresses latest round of budget reductions

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University has announced a plan of action to address additional state budget cuts.

The most recent cut is due to the continuing downturn in oil gross production that impacts revenues collected by the state. All schools in the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education are affected, but it is important to note that it impacts only higher education.  For Southeastern, this reduction is projected to be $500,079 through the end of the current fiscalyear (June 30, 2016).

The University is also anticipating additional cuts this fiscal year – based on state revenue collection – to be announced shortly.

In an email to campus faculty and staff Monday afternoon, Southeastern president Sean Burrage outlined steps the University is implementing to address the budget situation for the current fiscal year and also next fiscal year (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017):

  • Six furlough days (unpaid days off) for employees during the remainder of this fiscal year. These furlough days will save the University as much as $400,000.
  • Additional savings this fiscal year from operational spending controls that are in place.
  • The non-reappointment (without cause) of nine employees (six faculty, three staff) next fiscal year. The estimated cost savings ($589,713) of the non-renewals will not be realized until next fiscal year.

To date, during the current fiscal year, Southeastern has absorbed more than $2.8 million in budget cuts.

“These are obviously very difficult decisions to make,’’ Burrage said. “Colleges and universities throughout the state and nation are facing similar challenges.  With that being said, I am confident that Southeastern will  emerge stronger in the future. In the meantime, we will continue to look for ways to reduce costs, be more efficient, grow enrollment, and seek additional private support.’’

To address earlier budget cuts, the University  reduced departmental operational  costs, left numerous staff vacancies unfilled, modified summer school compensation,  eliminated or consolidated programs/offices, and introduced a Retirement Incentive program.

Southeastern is also cutting costs by collaborating with Murray State College to share the services of abusiness officer.

Although the budget situation for FY 17 is unknown, the Southeastern president says he is optimistic.

“With some of the measures we’ve implemented, we have positioned ourselves to be in better financial condition next year,’’ Burrage said. “In addition to the $1.8 million in savings due to the retirement program, we have more than $300,000 in new student scholarship funds available, while anticipating enrollment growth in areas such as the on-line MBA.’’

Christy Rogers named director of admissions and recruitment

Christy RogersDURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University has a new director of admissions and recruitment.

Christy Rogers, previously the assistant director of recruitment and admissions at Oklahoma City Community College, begins her new duties this week.

Rogers has 12 years of experience in higher education, having served as assistant director at OCCC since 2008. Prior to that, for two years, Rogers was an admissions advisor at the school.

She holds a master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Oklahoma State University.

Rogers is a Lone Grove, Oklahoma, native, and a graduate of Lone Grove High School.

The admissions and recruitment office is under the supervision of the vice president for university advancement, Kyle Stafford.

Southeastern Alumni Association to present first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to John Massey

John MasseyDURANT, Okla. – It’s only fitting that the Southeastern Alumni Association’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to John Massey.

This special recognition will take place on Friday, Oct. 2, at 5:30 p.m. in the Visual & Performing Arts Center at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Also to be honored at the Southeastern Homecoming Awards Banquet are Distinguished Alumni Frank Fietz and Sue Wilson Stafford; Distinguished Former Faculty Dr. George Collier and Dr. Flavil George; and the Heritage Award recipient, the late Minnie Baker.

“Regent Massey’s career in public service, business and higher education is unparalleled in the state of Oklahoma,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage.  “This is going to be a very special occasion as we gather to express our appreciation to an individual who has devoted his life to the betterment of all Oklahomans. No one has done more for Southeastern Oklahoma State University than John Massey. No one is more deserving of the Southeastern Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award than John Massey.’’

President Burrage and Chancellor Glen D. Johnson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and a former Southeastern president, will be presenting the award.

Massey is chairman of the board of First United Bank and Trust, headquartered in Durant.  He serves as Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and  s in his third nine-year term as a regent, a position appointed by the governor.

“I congratulate State Regent John Massey on receiving the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Alumni Association,” said Chancellor Johnson. “Regent Massey’s professional experience, public service and knowledge of Oklahoma’s higher education system are invaluable to our board, as is his tireless advocacy on behalf of Oklahoma students. His commitment to student success and the advancement of higher education in our state make him particularly deserving of this special honor.”

Massey earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1960 and served as Student Body President at the University. He is the only student in the history of Southeastern to receive the Outstanding Student Award for three consecutive years.

Turning to public service, Massey was elected State Representative in 1960, serving two terms. In 1964, he was elected to the State Senate, where he also served two terms.

In 1984, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Southeastern; in 2005, the School of Business was renamed the John Massey School of Business.

At his alma mater, Massey has established nine endowed chairs and four professorships.

“I am so proud of this University that I can’t really put it into words,’’ Massey said.  “Southeastern has made such a difference in my life and in the lives of so many people over the years. To be honored in this way by the Alumni Association is very special to me. It means a great deal.’’

Massey was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2004.  In 2009, he was inducted into the Oklahoma City Community College Hall of Fame, and he received the prestigious Leadership Oklahoma Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

He was presented  the Outstanding Alumni Award by Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity in 2001 and was also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Durant Kiwanis Club in 2010.

Tickets for the Distinguished Awards Banquet are $30 per person or $350 for a table sponsorship (8).


For more information, go to or call 580-745-2875.

Southeastern’s Taylor Gregory elected to OSRHE Student Advisory Board

Sharon Robinson, vice president for student affairs at Southeastern, accompanied Taylor Gregory to the installation ceremony for the Student Advisory Board.

Sharon Robinson, vice president for student affairs at Southeastern, accompanied Taylor Gregory to the installation ceremony for the Student Advisory Board.

DURANT, Okla. – Taylor Gregory, a junior communication and occupational safety & health major from Ardmore, has been elected to serve on the Student Advisory Board (SAB) of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

She also holds the office of vice president of the Student Government Association at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The Student Advisory Board communicates to the State Regents the views and interests of all Oklahoma college and university students on those issues that relate to the constitutional and statutory responsibilities of the State Regents.

In representing students, the SAB combines the opinions of students with research to develop the best proposals and recommendations for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.

Seven members are elected annually by delegates to the Oklahoma Student Government Association. All members serve one-year terms, May through April.

Southeastern designated as “excellent campus’’ by Certified Health Oklahoma Program

DURANT, Okla. – The Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program has recently designated Southeastern Oklahoma State University at the excellent level as a campus.

Certified Healthy recipients are recognized for promoting health and wellness where Oklahomans live, work, and play. The Program includes the following categories: campuses, businesses, communities, congregations, early childhood programs, restaurants, and schools.

The Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program began in 2003 as a collaborative initiative with four founding partners – the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma State Chamber and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University has applied to the program for the past three years – since the campus became tobacco-free – and has progressed from Basic to Merit and now has reached the Excellent level.

Southeastern’s steady advancement in the program has been made possible with the addition of services/policies/ programs.

“It is our intention to continually add to the campus environment to promote the American College Health Association’s Standards for Health Promotion in Higher Education,” said April Lehrling, Director of Student Wellness Services.

Honor graduates recognized at Spring Commencement

Southeastern president Larry Minks address the audience Saturday at Paul Laird Field.

Southeastern president Larry Minks address the audience Saturday at Paul Laird Field.

DURANT, Okla. – Thirty-three honor graduates were recognized during Spring Commencement exercises Saturday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Larry Minks, president of Southeastern, delivered the commencement address at Paul Laird Field. Offering welcoming remarks were Regent John Massey of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and Regent Richard Ogden, chairman of the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

Following are the honor graduates, listed by permanent hometown (Oklahoma, unless otherwise noted):

Summa Cum Laude

Hannah Nicole Baugh, Bonham, Texas; Ashley Elizabeth Caldwell, Lindsay; Preston Nathaniel Dye, Ada; George Allen Fritts, Mililani, Hawaii; Thomas Harlow Johnston, Sherman, Texas; Shaunda Renee Mitchell Usry, Durant; Lacey Jo Morgan, Antlers; Tracey Lynn Stephenson, Healdton.

Magna Cum Laude

President Minks and graduate Dylan Henson pose for a photo.

President Minks and graduate Dylan Henson pose for a photo.

Rebekah Ann Clowers, Idabel; Caspian Elizabeth Green, Yuma, Arizona; Sheridan Leigh Hill, Ardmore; Lesley Ann Huff, McAlester; Jeffrey Hunter, Thunder Bay, Ontario; Lyndsey Danielle Lamar-Owens, Mead; Tyler Dean Pyles, Denison, Texas; Jed Houston Sallee, Coalgate; Heidi Ann Shaw, Fort Towson.

Graduate Apryl Mock celebrates.

Graduate Apryl Mock celebrates.

Cum Laude

Pamela D. Barnett, Savanna; April Dawn Boatright, Antlers; Keylee McCall Clemmons, Roxton, Texas; Sarah Dudley Eastwood, Moyers; Haley Brooke Ellison, Broken Bow; Rachel Danielle Kallas,

Sherman, Texas; Erin Elizabeth McDaniel, Durant; Dana Elizabeth Meaders, Wilburton; Markie L. Meadows, Tushka; Cody F. Morris, Heavener; Allison J. Mounts, Kiefer; Mary Elizabeth Nelson, Antlers; Nicholas Levi Patterson, San Diego, California; Virginia Dawn Sealock, Rockwall, Texas; Aubrey Elizabeth Tarantine, Sherman, Texas; Roxie Wilson, Bells, Texas.

Southeastern student recognized for Newman award by OSRHE

ScalfDURANT, Okla. – The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently recognized the recipients of the 2014-15 Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact. Taylor Scalf of Southeastern Oklahoma State University is one of just 15 Oklahoma students to be so honored. A sophomore from Marlow, Oklahoma, Scalf was congratulated by Chancellor Glen D. Johnson and State Regent John Massey. The honorees from Oklahoma are part of a group of 197 students from 36 states in the program, and were nominated by their college or university president as inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.