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10th Circuit Chief Henry Steps Down

The chief judge of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Robert H. Henry, is stepping down, swapping his tenured position on the federal bench for a university presidency and tenured professorship. Henry will leave the court June 30 to become president and CEO of Oklahoma City University, where he will also be a tenured professor of law and political science.

For Henry, this will be a return to OCU, a Methodist-affiliated university with a student body of 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students. He was dean of the OCU law school from 1993 to 1994, the year President Clinton nominated him to the 10th Circuit. He became chief judge in 2008. He also has a personal tie to the school: His son is a theater major there.

Henry, 56, has a long record of public service in Oklahoma. He was the state's attorney general from 1987 to 1992 and was a member of the state House of Representatives from 1976 to 1986. He is a 1976 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. In 2008, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

"The opportunity to return to Oklahoma City University as its president and CEO is an exciting challenge that my wife, Jan, and I wholeheartedly embrace," Henry said in a statement posted to the court's Web site. "The future of Oklahoma City is bright and OCU is an important part of that future."

In a video interview with The Oklahoman (below), Henry said he looks forward to leaving the "monastery" of the federal bench and returning to greater participation in civic, political and academic affairs. OCU's selected him after conducting a national search, an OCU news release said.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on December 16, 2009 at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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