The Oklahoma Senate will commence a special session on Wednesday to meet constitutional requirements, but the confirmation process for Governor Kevin Stitt’s nominee to the OSU/A&M Board of Regents may not be swift. President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, announced the session will start at noon, with former Oklahoma State University athletic director Mike Holder undergoing the Senate’s vetting process.

While the session’s initiation is set, Treat emphasized that no specific dates have been determined for Holder’s nomination to be reviewed by the Senate Education Committee or for a subsequent floor vote. This comes after Governor Stitt nominated the 75-year-old Holder on Monday and called for a special session to expedite the confirmation process, stating his anticipation for the Senate to confirm Holder promptly.

Stitt’s previous nominee for the same position, Norman businesswoman Susan Bergen, was rejected last month by a 32-13 Senate vote despite a unanimous approval from the Senate Education Committee. This rejection highlights the potential challenges Holder might face in the confirmation process.

If confirmed, Holder would fill the vacancy left by Rick Davis of Guthrie, who had served on the board since 2011 and whose term ended on April 4. Holder’s appointment would be for an eight-year term on the nine-member OSU/A&M Board of Regents, which oversees multiple institutions including Langston University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, and Connors State College.

The special session is an essential step in fulfilling the constitutional obligation for executive nominations to the board, yet it underscores the Senate’s cautious approach in the vetting process, reflecting the complexities and potential delays in confirming key appointments.