Dr. Larry Rice – a lifelong educator, administrator at the University of Tulsa and former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives – has been named President Designate at Rogers State University and will succeed RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley when he retires on June 30.
The appointment was made by the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, the governing board for RSU, at its regular meeting on Jan. 23 in Oklahoma City. Rice will begin working as President Designate in March and will become the 12th RSU President on July 1.
Regents also accepted the retirement of Wiley, who will leave RSU after 10 years to become President of Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn.
An Oklahoma native, Rice has 29 years of experience in higher education, most recently as Executive Assistant to the President at the University of Tulsa.
Rice began his academic career in 1979 as a full-time faculty member at RSU, which was then known as Rogers State College, where he taught classes in criminal justice, psychology and sociology. He was Director of the Applied Science Division at Rogers from 1979 to 1986 and Associate Director of Academics for the Rogers campus in Pryor from 1986 to 1991.
“I have always had a special place in my heart for this great institution,” said Rice. “RSU has been one of the primary success stories in the history of Oklahoma higher education in terms of enrollment growth and institutional stature. I believe RSU has the potential of becoming one of Oklahoma’s highest quality universities.”
“I began my career in higher education at Rogers and am looking forward to returning to serve as its President, continuing Dr. Wiley’s initiatives and vision for the university,” Rice added.
Rice received a doctoral degree in education from Oklahoma State University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on “Eighty Years of University Preparatory Education on College Hill,” which was essentially a history of the institution presently known as RSU.
“Dr. Rice was the ideal candidate for the RSU presidency,” said Tom Clark, chairman of the OU Board of Regents. “He is well-known and respected by area residents, civic and business leaders. He is highly regarded as an administrator and fundraising executive at TU. And perhaps most importantly, he will be an ‘academic-focused president,’ having spent significant time as a faculty member in a classroom environment, and he understands the needs of students.”
At TU, Rice serves as chief of staff for the president with responsibilities for government relations and the Presidential Scholars Program for high-achieving students. He joined TU in 1991 as a member of the advancement staff and served as interim vice president for advancement from 1997-1998 and director of public affairs from 1991 to 2004.
He served the citizens of Oklahoma as a state representative in House District 8 from 1986 to 2004. He continues to serve the public, including an appointment to the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission representing Oklahoma. In 2006, he was appointed by Gov. Brad Henry as chairman of the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust to oversee and administer the federally funded Tar Creek relocation efforts.
He has served on a wide variety of boards for various organizations, including president and founding member of the Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools Foundation; member of the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Academy from 1992 to present; and former member of the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Green Country and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Tulsa.
More about Dr. Rice