Friday, February 16, 2007

Cal Hobson to Continue Career of Public Service --- at OU

(Hobson is no stranger to OU or Norman, having served as State Representative and more recently as State Senator for districts that include OU. I visited with Hobson and his wife Elaine last night in Norman about his new adventure. The OU family will be well served by Cal Hobson.)

Former senator takes a new career path

By Althea Peterson
The Norman Transcript

— After a lifetime of service in the state Legislature and the U.S. Air Force, one of the area’s native sons will join the state’s “flagship university.”

Former state Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson, 61, will join the staff of the OU College of Continuing Education as director of Adult Executive Training Programs, the university announced Thursday.

Hobson, who will be paid $65,000 annually, said he looked forward to the opportunity.

“The opportunity to work at Oklahoma’s flagship university is a dream I’ve had since I was a child,” Hobson said in an interview with The Transcript. “My grandma was the first OU graduate in the family, and both sides of our family haven’t gone anywhere else since.”
According to a university release, Hobson’s role will be to work with corporate, military, governmental and Native American tribal leadership training programs operated through the center for continuing education. He will provide direction for the training programs and also work to prepare grant applications to bring additional training programs to the center.

“I’ve worked in all of these area extensively, so I am looking forward to it,” said Hobson, a veteran of the Air Force for more than 30 years and member of the state House and Senate for nearly 30 years. “The opportunity to work with Dr. (James) Pappas (OU vice president for outreach and dean of the College of Liberal Studies) was the deciding factor.”

Pappas shared the excitement of bringing Hobson to OU.
“Cal Hobson brings valuable experience in leadership roles across a broad range of sectors,” Pappas said. “I am delighted that he will be joining us.”

Hobson earned his bachelor’s degree from OU and has completed all course work for a master’s degree. OU also honored his involvement in bringing the National Weather Center to Norman last fall by naming a room after him — although he admits that because of his busy schedule, he has not yet been able to see it. He said he hopes to give back to the university and the Norman community after all both have given him.

“I’m anxious to see Norman,” said Hobson, who lives in Lexington with his wife, Elaine. “Norman is Oklahoma’s greatest city in many ways. I want to pay back all the things (the university’s) done for me… I’ve received my degree there, I received my commission to the Air Force there… I want to give back to what has given me my opportunities in life.”

“Cal Hobson is a person with great ability who will work to expand the number of our adult leadership training programs and to improve their quality,” OU President David Boren said.

As Hobson’s final year in the state Senate because of term limits ended, he ran an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 2006. He said after leaving office, he received opportunities to lobby at the Capitol— but none that compared to the opportunity to work at OU.
“Public policy is what I wanted to work on,” Hobson said. “I will miss (working at the Capitol), but I know my role at the university now, and I’m very excited at the chance.”

Althea Peterson

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