SFA Board of Regents names interim president, accepts President Steve Westbrook’s retirement
NACOGDOCHES — The Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents today accepted the May 31 retirement of President Steve Westbrook and named Gina Oglesbee, vice president for finance and administration, as interim president beginning June 1. Oglesbee will serve as interim president until a new president is named. She will not be a candidate for the permanent position.
“The SFA community has worked with Gina for almost 20 years,” said SFA Board of Regents Chair Karen Gantt. “She has a deep knowledge of the university’s business operations, finances, culture and traditions, and she is an ideal candidate to lead SFA in its transition to The University of Texas System. Officials from the UT System have also had an opportunity to work with Gina during the past several months and independently expressed their excitement about the possibility of her appointment as interim president.”
Oglesbee participated in the system affiliation evaluation process last fall and has been closely involved with the work surrounding the transfer of management and control of the university into the UT System. She currently serves as a member of the SFA/UT Transition Steering Committee and as a member of the Core Transition Support Team. She was the chief audit executive at SFA for 17 years (2005-2022) before being named as the vice president for finance and administration in April 2022. Oglesbee is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Administration from SFA.
“Stephen F. Austin State University’s transition into the UT System is proceeding exceedingly well, and we’re delighted that Ms. Oglesbee has agreed to take the leadership role at this critical time,” said UT System Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife. “Everyone with whom we have worked, from Chair Gantt and the SFA board to President Westbrook and the entire SFA university community, has contributed tirelessly to make this transition a success.”
“As the transition work continues and we prepare for a new permanent president, we are delighted to have such a strong partner to oversee campus operational and partnership activities. I know from firsthand experience that Gina has provided exceptional leadership since the beginning of the negotiations and throughout the transition,” said UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken. “We are deeply grateful she has agreed to assume the interim presidency at this time.”
“I have worked with Gina during her entire tenure at SFA. Her knowledge of the university and the surrounding community uniquely qualifies her for this role,” SFA President Steve Westbrook said. “Her in-depth knowledge of the affiliation evaluation process and the transition work that has been underway over the past few months, as well as her established relationships with key UT System executives, will be highly beneficial as the university’s transition into the system proceeds over the coming months while the presidential search is underway.”
The search for the next president will be conducted by the UT Board of Regents following legislative approval for SFA’s affiliation with the system. That legislation unanimously passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature in April and awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. A presidential search advisory committee will begin its work in the near future.
“It is an honor to serve as the interim president during this historic time with the transition to The University of Texas System and the centennial celebration,” Oglesbee said. “I appreciate the support and trust of the SFA Board of Regents and Chancellor Milliken. I am optimistic and excited for SFA’s future and look forward to continuing to work with our faculty and staff for the success of our students.”