Oklahoma City, Okla. (April 3, 2019) – Governor Kevin Stitt announced today the appointment of Steven W. Taylor to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
Pending Senate confirmation, Taylor will serve a nine year term, effective May 17, 2019.
“Chief Justice Taylor has been a dedicated public servant for the people of Oklahoma his entire career,” said Gov. Stitt. “He has a passion for education and a love for our great state. He will be an impactful addition to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education as we work to move our state forward.”
Steven W. Taylor (born June 7, 1949) served on the Oklahoma Supreme Court from 2004 to 2016. During his time on the court, Taylor served as Chief Justice from 2011-2013.
Taylor holds a B.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Taylor joined the United States Marine Corps in 1970 and served on active duty from 1974-1978. He was trained as an infantry platoon commander and later served as a prosecutor and Chief Defense Counsel. In 1977, he became the youngest judge in the U.S. Armed Forces where he was promoted to the rank of Major. Following his active duty service in the Marines, Taylor practiced law in McAlester from 1978-1984. In 1980, he was elected to the McAlester City Council, and in 1982, was elected Mayor of McAlester.
In March 1984, Governor George Nigh appointed Taylor Associate District Judge for Pittsburg County. In 1991, he was the first Associate District Judge ever to be elected President of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference. In 1994, Taylor was elected District Judge of the 18th Judicial District. In 1997 and 2003, he was elected Presiding Judge of the ten county East-Central Judicial Administrative District. In 2003, Taylor was the recipient of the Oklahoma Bar Association's "Award of Judicial Excellence" designating him as the outstanding Oklahoma judge of the year. In his over 20 years as a trial judge, he presided over more than 500 jury trials including the state trial of the Oklahoma City bombing case.
Taylor serves on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
In 2002, Taylor was recognized by Oklahoma State University as a "Leadership Legacy" and 2003 "Distinguished Alumnus." In 2007, Justice Taylor was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame and in 2009, the University of Oklahoma presented him with the Regents Alumni Award. He is the only person to have received the highest alumni recognition from both OSU and OU. During the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial year Oklahoma magazine named Justice Taylor as one of the "100 Who Shaped Us" - a list of living and past Oklahomans who influenced the first 100 years of our state. In 2009, Justice Taylor was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive from the state.
The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education is comprised of 25 colleges and universities – including two research universities, 10 regional universities, one public liberal arts university and 12 community colleges – and 11 constituent agencies and two university centers. The State System is coordinated by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and each institution is governed by a board of regents. The State Regents prescribe academic standards of higher education, determine functions and courses of study at state colleges and universities, grant degrees, and approve each public college's and university's allocations, as well as tuition and fees within the limits set by the Oklahoma Legislature.