Loughridge named CEO of Oklahoma State University Research Foundation
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oklahoma State University Research Foundation (OSURF) has a new CEO.
Jerome Loughridge, senior vice president of system operations for OSU, will now head the nonprofit, which is focused on collaborative applications of new discovery and partnerships to bring OSU innovation to bear on the state’s economy.
The foundation connects university innovation with industry needs to help power the state’s economy. OSU President Kayse Shrum said the position will capitalize on and magnify the impact OSURF can have, particularly with the university strategy in place.
“To become the nation's preeminent land-grant institution, we must bolster and enhance our connection to Oklahoma’s economy — including contributing new knowledge and cutting-edge innovation in close collaboration with firms and organizations in our state and our region,” she said. “Some of that will take the form of increased sponsored research, for which we have an opportunity to significantly increase our reach through competitive grants, including federal programs.
"I’m grateful that Dr. Kenneth Sewell will continue to drive those efforts in his role as vice president for research. And some of that will take other forms — perhaps even new partnerships with industry. By dividing the functions of sponsored research and other forms of innovation, we believe we can multiply OSU’s impact across the state of Oklahoma and beyond. We’re excited about welcoming Jerome to this new role and how he will continue to elevate OSU research.”
OSURF will now provide a home for Cowboy Technologies and other critical industry-facing functions as well as create a structure to house the university’s institutes, such as the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Innovation, the Hamm Institute for American Energy at Oklahoma State University, and the new Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute. Besides establishing a framework for the institutes, Loughridge will play a key role in connecting university innovation with industry.
“We have an opportunity, given what our new strategy has to say about how we are committed to becoming the nation’s preeminent land-grant university, to increase our positive impact,” Loughridge said. “OSURF provides a nimble, creative and powerful organizational mechanism to directly impact Oklahoma.”
The new role frees Sewell, OSU vice president for research, to focus on growing sponsored research opportunities, such as those secured through federal sources like the Department of Defense and National Science Foundation.
“OSU faculty researchers have increased their expenditure of federal research dollars by 40% since 2015, growth that moved OSU into Carnegie’s top tier of research universities in 2018,” Sewell said. “With the increased federal investments contained in the CHIPS+Science Act recently signed into law, we are poised to win yet more federal grants to drive innovation and scientific breakthroughs. And it is critical we ensure this research excellence translates into economic impact via the private partnerships Jerome will lead at OSURF.”
“As a university with this caliber of research, we must allow the VPR to foster and aggressively find funding sources for projects,” Shrum said. “With Jerome and Dr. Sewell leading the two vital functions in concert, we can multiply what the university will accomplish.”
Loughridge, a business sector veteran with public policy expertise, was responsible for developing the process that led to the creation of the university strategy unveiled last fall. Loughridge’s career spans more than two decades and includes key positions in higher education and executive positions within the energy sector and Wall Street private equity. He also served as the Oklahoma Secretary of Health and Mental Health. He holds a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University.