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Jim Roth appointed Dean of OCU Law School

Jim Roth will become the new Dean of Law at Oklahoma City University, effective July 1. Photo provided.
Jim Roth will become the new Dean of Oklahoma City University’s Law School, effective July 1. Photo provided.

By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma City University’s President Robert Henry recently announced that Jim Roth has been appointed as the next Dean of OCU’s Law School. A former Oklahoma County commissioner and Oklahoma Corporation commissioner, Roth will begin his term as dean on July 1.

Roth currently serves as a director of the Phillips Murrah law firm, based in Oklahoma City, where he leads the firm’s natural resources department and serves as chair of the Clean Energy Practice Group.

“Jim’s appointment follows a thorough national search process and his selection from the robust pool of applicants is a testament to his strong leadership skills and his vision to grow OCU Law,” Henry said.

As outlined in a press release received by The City Sentinel, Jim was advanced by the OCU Search Committee as a finalist, approved by a vote of the law school faculty, and was appointed by President Henry and President-Designate Martha Burger.

Burger, who also begins her term with OCU on July 1, said Roth’s background demonstrates dedicated public service and impressive legal practice.

“He will serve the School of Law and the university well as we grow forward,” she said.

Roth is an alumnus of OCU Law, earning his Juris Doctor degree in 1994. He also holds graduate certificates from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the United States Air War College’s National Security Forum at Maxwell Air Force Base and the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University.

In 2007, Roth was appointed by Governor Brad Henry to serve as an Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner and held the office through January 2009 when he joined Phillips Murrah. He was first elected County Commissioner for Oklahoma County in 2002 and, in 2006 he was the first re-elected County Commissioner in over a decade.

Prior to serving as County Commissioner, Roth served eight years in local government as a staff attorney and Chief Deputy for Oklahoma County.

Gary Homsey, co-chair of the Law Dean Search Committee and vice chairman of the OCU Board of Trustees, said he looks forward to the coming years.

“Jim brings excitement for the future, and he is the right choice to lead OCU Law,” Homsey said.

In 2017, Roth served as the OCU School of Law’s inaugural Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, teaching a class on energy regulation.

“It is a huge honor to be able to serve my alma mater as its next Dean,” Roth said. “OCU and OCU Law School are wonderful institutions and I am excited to work with the faculty, staff and students to chart new paths and expand the horizons for all involved.

Roth added, “The future requires lawyers who are prepared for a very dynamic economy and we will work to encourage them to think broadly as servant leaders in their communities and professions.”

Roth serves on the boards of the United Way of Central Oklahoma, the Central Oklahoma Humane Society and the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, among others.

Prior to Roth’s appointment, Lee Peoples has served as Interim Dean of Law following Dr. Valerie Couch, OCU’s first female Dean of Law, who stepped down in 2017.

In this 1994 photo, Jim Roth (left) accepts his Oklahoma City University law degree from then dean Robert Henry. As president, Henry recently announced Roth's appointment as OCU's next law dean. Photo provided.
In this 1994 photo, Jim Roth (left) accepts his Oklahoma City University law degree from then dean Robert Henry. As president, Henry recently announced Roth’s appointment as OCU’s next law dean. Photo provided.


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