The Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges announced Thursday that Dr. Jeffery Hale will be the next president of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.

Hale, currently the associate vice chancellor of administration for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, will begin his presidency Jan. 15.  Until that time, Tom Poole will remain interim president of the college and assist Hale in transitioning into the office.

 “My wife, Donna, and I are humbled and honored to have this opportunity,” Hale said. “We look forward to joining the NEO family of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  We believe that the best years for the college lie ahead.”

Hale succeeds Dr. Glenn Mayle who retired in October after serving for a decade at NEO.

The new president said Thursday that capitalizing on NEO’s “border college”  attributes will be a priority within his administration — drawing students from the four-state area to boost the Miami junior college’s reputation on a regional plane.

Hale also said he looks forward to fostering a partnership with the Miami community and “working hand in hand” with city leaders in furthering economic development.

The announcement of Hale’s hiring came shortly after 8 p.m. and followed a lengthy executive session.

The regents discussed Hale’s hiring behind closed doors after interviewing five finalists who spent the day in Miami on Thursday.

Douglas Burns, chairman of the Board, said he is confident in the Board’s decision.

“Without a doubt, Dr. Hale was the most qualified,” Burns said.  “The Board is very excited about the future of NEO.”

Hale received his doctorate in adult and higher education from the University of Oklahoma in 1996.

In addition, Hale earned a master’s degree in college student personnel in 1989 and a bachelor’s degree in history in 1982 from the University of Oklahoma.

The new president will be paid $140,000 annually. He will also receive a $20,000 annual automobile allowance and a $12,000 annual allowance for other expenses.