Elgin Mayor JJ Francais appointed to University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents
Current mayor of Elgin and Assistant Vice President of External Affairs for Hilliary Communications, JJ Francais has been appointed to the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents. He will replace Tom Cordell, partner at the Oklahoma City-based law firm Wilson, Cain & Acquaviva, whose tenure ends June 30.
Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed Francais to a seven-year term, which begins July 1, 2022. Senate confirmation is still required.
“Only three institutions in Oklahoma continue to have a statewide mission,” said President John Feaver. “Science & Arts can only fulfill its distinct role as Oklahoma’s public liberal arts university and continue to build on our illustrious history thanks to the often arduous, but utterly essential, work that our Regents approach with a clear sense of resolve, pragmatic insights and an absolute dedication to seeing this university succeed. Beyond JJ’s stellar professional resume, he is an alumnus of this institution, so I have every confidence that he will perform exceptionally well in this new role as one of our Regents.”
In his position at Hilliary, Francais manages numerous company projects, serves as the liaison for governmental affairs at the state and federal level, and serves as associate publisher of Hilliary’s weekly newspapers “The Chronicle” and “Southwest Ledger,” both of which cover rural southwest Oklahoma communities. Prior to joining Hilliary, Francis worked in both the commercial and non-profit sectors, fostering a strong aptitude for community relations and project management.
Cordell has practiced law in Oklahoma since 1979 and currently deals with all facets of tort litigation, focusing on complex tort and commercial litigation, premises liability, products liability, auto liability, oil and gas legislation, bad faith, insurance defense and coverage litigation. A member of the Order of the Barristers and a recipient of the Maurice Merrill Golden Quill Award, given annually for the outstanding published article in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, Cordell speaks regularly on a wide variety of legal subjects for various organizations, trade groups and companies.
“Regent Cordell’s incredible dedication to this university is evidenced in his long history of remarkable service to the institution,” said Feaver. “While I am terribly sorry to see him leave the board, I know that although his term may have ended, his commitment to improving the lives of every Oklahoman will never cease.
The Oklahoma State Legislature created Science & Arts’ seven-member Board of Regents to govern the institution as it carries out its distinct mission as the only public liberal arts institution within Oklahoma’s higher education system. The governor appoints each member to overlapping seven-year terms with the advice and consent of the Oklahoma Senate.