The finance executive and RUSO alumnus will begin his term June 2021
The Oklahoma Senate has confirmed Christopher Van Denhende, of Tulsa, to the governing board of the Regional University System of Oklahoma. Van Denhende was appointed by Gov. Kevin Stitt and fills the position that includes Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Garvin, Murray and Payne counties. He replaces Jeffrey Dunn, CEO of Mill Creek Lumber & Supply Company, who completed his term this year. Van Denhende was sponsored by Senator Kevin Matthews, who was also an elementary school student of Van Denhende’s mother, Patsie, at Woods Elementary School in Tulsa Public Schools. Van Denhende’s appointment begins June 2021.
Van Denhende is a seasoned finance executive with over 35 years in various positions across multiple industries, including a focus on aviation. He has worked for Fortune 500 organizations including American Airlines, AVIS, and MCI. Van Denhende is currently the Division CFO of three M International companies: Mint Turbines, Southwest Fuel Systems and Keystone Turbine Services.
“During my career, I have built a reputation as a turnaround specialist, supporting leadership during times of change to help organizations succeed,” Van Denhende said. “My goal, as a RUSO regent, is to support our regional universities and see them continue to perform at an optimal level to give people across our state access to degrees that are in high demand from schools near their home at costs that are far lower than average higher education rates.”
Van Denhende earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from East Central University and his MBA from Oklahoma City University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and serves on several boards including the East Central University Alumni Association and Will Rogers High School Community Foundation.
“I am honored to serve a university system that helped build the foundation of my career. As a graduate of ECU, I know firsthand the impact RUSO has on individuals and the employers who need their skills. As an executive I know how vital our graduates are to building Oklahoma’s skilled workforce,” Van Denhende said.
As the largest four-year university system in the state, the Regional University System of Oklahoma governs six of the state’s universities: East Central University, Northeastern State University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma. Together these institutions enroll more than 37,000 students annually.