The Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) Board of Regents names Dr. Jerry Steward, current Executive Vice President of OCCC as the 10th president of the college, effective July 2.
Dr. Steward succeeds OCCC President Paul Sechrist, who will retire after serving a 10-year tenure as president.
Following the appointment, Chair Teresa Moisant offered congratulations on behalf of the Board and stated, “We look forward to working with soon-to-be President Steward as we lead this great college forward.”
Steward has served in a number of senior administrative roles at OCCC for the last 20 years. Prior to coming to OCCC, he was the senior partner in a law firm that he established. He holds a BA in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.
“I would like to offer my congratulations to Dr. Jerry Steward on being named president of Oklahoma City Community College,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. “Dr. Steward and I have known each other for 35 years, from his service in the Legislature to his current role as executive vice president at OCCC and as a valued member of our legislative advocacy team at the State Capitol. I want to commend the OCCC Board of Regents for making an outstanding choice to succeed President Paul Sechrist. I look forward to working with Dr. Steward in his new role as president.”
Steward has served on boards of numerous civic organizations and has focused on community support his entire professional career. As an advocate for workforce development, Dr. Steward will focus on matching OCCC students and academic programs with employment opportunities. “Completing a degree or certificate in an area with good jobs is what changes lives of our students,” Steward said. “This is what is transformative about OCCC. We change, not only the lives of our students, but the lives of their families as well.”
Dr. Steward’s other priorities include further implementation of the college’s strategic plan implemented by President Sechrist, including increasing the number of students who complete a degree or certificate, closing the achievement gaps that persist with low income, first generation students, and focused fundraising to provide more student scholarships, community events and increase the endowment.
OCCC has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade. Today the college annually enrolls over 20,000 in its college programs and another 8,000 in its adult basic education programs. Last year, OCCC awarded 2,045 degree and certificates, by far the largest number in its 42-year history.