Stitt to appoint Cawley to OU Board of Regents
Gov. Kevin Stitt intends to appoint attorney and businessman Michael A. Cawley to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, filling a vacancy left by Renzi Stone's resignation.
Stitt announced Monday afternoon he will appoint Cawley, pending confirmation from the state Senate. Cawley, of Ardmore, received undergraduate and law-school degrees from OU.
He will finish the final two years of Stone’s seven-year term. Stone, a former OU basketball player, abruptly resigned from the board Oct. 22.
Cawley, 72, is a director of Noble Energy Inc., an independent oil and gas exploration and production company.
“Governor Stitt has shared with me his desire for higher education excellence,” Cawley said in a statement. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the Board of Regents and university teams to bring that desire to fruition.”
Cawley served as president, CEO and trustee of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation for 20 years before his retirement in 2012. The foundation supports agricultural research at the Noble Research Institute, student scholarship programs and charitable grants.
The foundation reported nearly $1 billion in total assets in its latest tax return.
“Mr. Cawley is a successful businessman, attorney and OU alumni, with a career dedicated to serving rural Oklahoma,” Stitt said in a statement. “Mr. Cawley served for 20 years as president of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, leading a team that raised funds to publish research advancing the agriculture industry in Oklahoma and nationwide. He will bring a wealth of experience and a strong network to support the OU Board and the University’s vision to continue growing as reputable national research institution.”
Cawley’s involvement with OU extends beyond his graduation from the university. He served as chairman of the OU Foundation Board of Trustees, chairman of the University of Oklahoma Associates Council and on the search committee for the hiring of OU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione.
Cawley led fundraising efforts for the Jimmie Austin Golf Course and the Charlie Coe Teaching Center. He received the University of Oklahoma Regents’ Alumni Award in 1996.
OU Interim President Joseph Harroz said he was “thrilled” to learn Cawley was Stitt’s selection to the regents.
“He is a dedicated servant to our university having spent decades committed to our mission in a variety of roles,” Harroz said in a statement. “His appointment to the board speaks to his interest in and advocacy for higher education in Oklahoma. The board, and the institutions it governs, will be better for his leadership, counsel, and insight. We’re proud to have another OU alumnus serve as a member of this distinguished body and I look forward to working with him.”
Cawley sits on multiple boards in Oklahoma, including the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute Foundation, the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, and the State Fair of Oklahoma. He also serves on the Investment Committee of the Oklahoma Arts Institute.
Cawley would be Stitt’s third appointment to the seven-member board, following Vice Chairman Gary Pierson and regent Eric Stevenson.