A state senate committee on Tuesday advanced the appointment of the head of OSU Center for Health Sciences to be the Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Innovation.
Dr. Kayse Shrum said she sees her role as working with education leaders from kindergarten through the university level to come up with a statewide education plan for science, technology, engineering and math in order to help grow the state’s workforce in those fields.
"What are the challenges that we’re facing in STEM education? What are we doing well? What are the existing plans? How do we bring those together so that we have a coordinated effort all the way through so we’re not losing students, we’re identifying students and we’re putting programs in place?" Shrum said.
Shrum said she wants science, technology, engineering and math to drive business activity in Oklahoma.
"Also, creating an identity for our state around research and working with our comprehensive universities that will attract businesses to our state," Shrum said.
Sen. Gary Stanislawski said he was concerned about how Shrum would carry out her work without a dedicated staff until she told Senate Education Committee members she planned to work hand-in-hand with education leaders.
"I think it will be a partnership. Obviously, it has to be in order for me to be successful in this role, because it is bringing together many, many constituents, working together for the betterment of Oklahoma," Shrum said.
Shrum's appointment now goes to the full Senate. Secretary of Science and Innovation is a new cabinet position under Gov. Kevin Stitt.