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February 16, 2016 - Lester to Be Sworn in as New State Regent

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Edmond resident Andy Lester will be sworn in as a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on May 27. His appointment was recently confirmed by both the Senate Education Committee and the full Senate.

"Andy has proven himself to be a champion for education," said Governor Mary Fallin. "That is what our state needs as we try to close the skills gap that has left nearly 80,000 jobs unfilled in Oklahoma because of a lack of qualified candidates."

Lester replaces Marlin "Ike" Glass, who will complete his second nine-year term on the board in May. Lester’s term will expire in May 2025.

"We welcome Regent Lester to the State Regents," said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. "As we continue to focus on providing a top-quality higher education opportunity at an affordable cost, his previous professional experience and his service on the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges will be invaluable to the State Regents and to Oklahoma’s state system institutions."

Lester is a partner in the Edmond office of the law firm Spencer Fane LLP. His areas of emphasis include constitutional, employment, local government, civil rights and business litigation. He has taught at the Oklahoma City University College of Law as an adjunct professor since 1988. He has served as a member of the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges since 2007, and also served as a Trustee of Eureka College in Central Illinois.

"Virtually nothing we do as a society is more important than higher education," said Lester. "Public access to higher education has been central to the success of our nation since the time of President Lincoln and beyond. I look forward to working with Governor Fallin, the State Legislature, Chancellor Johnson and my new colleagues, the State Regents, to continue to fulfill the promise of higher education for the citizens of Oklahoma."

Lester earned his law degree and a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University in 1981. He graduated from Duke University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

Lester is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City and has served on the board of advisors for the Salvation Army’s Oklahoma City command since 2002. He is also part of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education is a nine-member constitutional board that coordinates all 25 public higher education institutions in Oklahoma. The board prescribes academic standards of higher education, determines functions and courses of study at state colleges and universities, grants degrees, makes budget requests to the Legislature, allocates funding for each college and university, recommends proposed fees within limits set by the Legislature and manages numerous scholarships, endowed chairs and other special programs. State regents are appointed by the governor for nine-year terms.