Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Gary L. Smith

Born in Cushing, Oklahoma, Gary L. Smith graduated from Cushing High School and in 1996 was elected to the Cushing High School Hall of Fame. Smith received his bachelor's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, attended graduate school at the University of Oklahoma, and graduated from the College Business Management Institute at the University of Kentucky. He became a Certified Internal Auditor in 1973, and was a member of Leadership Oklahoma Class 5. From his education and training in administration, finance, and management, Smith has played a role in making Oklahoma a national leader in system-wide university administration. Gary Smith served as Director of Internal Audits for the University of Oklahoma until 1988 when he began his work for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education by becoming the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operation Officer for the state system of higher education with an overall operating budget of approximately $1.5 billion. During his tenure he played an active role in implementing significant reforms in the higher education system. A program budgeting system was developed that provided accountability in the allocation of resources. An Academic Planning and Resources Allocation system directly linked funding with academic programs. Smith oversaw the Guaranteed Student Loan Program which provided loan guarantees in excess of $3 billion since its inception. He was involved in the planning, development and oversight of OneNet, a unique wide area telecommunications network that provides voice, video and data services to all educational and state government agencies. For his exemplary and innovative service for thirty-two years to Oklahoma Higher Education, the 2007 Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame enthusiastically welcomes Gary Smith to membership.