Sweetit kidnaps businessman without college degree for board of supervisors of higher education | Government and politics

Governor Kevin Stitt’s latest nominee to the board overseeing the state higher education system is a successful businessman, but has no college degree.

Dustin Hilliery, managing partner of Loton’s Hillary Communications, said in an email, “He attended the University of Cameroon for about three years until the growth of my family’s business immersed me in the family business faster than we expected.”

After that, Hillary said, “We’re involved in growing our footprint, growing the company to Texas and Iowa, and creating more than 100 jobs in rural Oklahoma.”

Hillary said the experience provides insight into higher education.

“We are in a new era of higher education where we need to ensure that it is attractive and accessible to those who have graduated from high school, from those who have just completed their military deployment abroad to those who need to retail and retrain,” he said. .

“I am sure my life experiences will bring perspective to a very remarkable Board of Regent. (I) Oklahoma will strive to ensure that it provides a quality public education system that serves all people regardless of their living conditions or circumstances.

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Stitt nominated Hillary on Friday to replace Tulson Jay Helm, whose term expires next month. For decades, the position has been held by someone from Tulsa, but a State spokesman noted that it was not a factor in his decision.

“The governor is always looking for the best candidates,” said Charlie Hannah.

Tulsa is still represented on the board by businessman Jodi Parker.

Giving a non-college graduate the oversight of colleges and universities in the state may raise some eyebrows, but this is in line with the history of the state, which appoints people to boards and agencies based on their business background.

“I believe our higher education system exists to train and prepare workers in Oklahoma. Dustin Hillary’s extensive business experience, especially in rural communities, will help ensure that our colleges and universities produce the skilled graduates required by Oklahoma companies, ”Stitt said in a statement.

Hannama made that comment when asked about the State’s decision to invite criticism by appointing a non – college graduate to the Oklahoma State Regent’s Board for Higher Education.

The press release also includes an acknowledgment by John McArthur, President of the University of Cameroon, that Hillary and her corporate family are excellent partners for CU and higher education.

Hilliree Communications provides telephone and broadband services to 19,000 customers in 22 counties in southwestern Oklahoma and northwestern Texas. It publishes two newspapers, the Commonwealth County Chronicle of Elgin and the Lawn-based Southwest Ledger, which lists Dustin Hillary as co-publisher.

According to the governor’s press release, Hillary Communications has received more than $ 110 million in federal broadband loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission.

These include the Rural Broadband Association, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, the Oklahoma Telephone Association, the Elgin Schools Education Foundation, the Komanche County Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Oklahoma Homestead Association.

Politically, data from the Oklahoma State Ethics Commission indicates that since 2015, the extended Hillary family and Hillary Communications have contributed at least $ 325,000 to candidates for the State Office and State Political Action Committees – and not almost all Republicans.

The total amount for the state’s 2022 re-election campaign is $ 13,100.

The Federal Election Commission lists $ 142,300 in donations from Dustin Hillary since 2008. U.S. Senator James Langford and U.S. Representatives Tom Cole, Stephanie Bais and Marquez Mullin each received more than $ 20,000 from Hillary.

His appointment is subject to the approval of the State Senate.

Featured Video: State of the State Address by Governor of Oklahoma State Business Enterprises


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