Gov. Mary Fallin recently appointed Clark Jolley, an adjunct professor in the graduate and undergraduate programs at Oklahoma Christian University, to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
Jolley has been an adjunct at Oklahoma Christian since the fall of 2009 and served in the state Senate from 2004 to 2016.
“It was the honor of a lifetime to be on the state Senate and to represent the citizens of Edmond, Oklahoma Christian and the University of Central Oklahoma,” Jolley said. “It was a great opportunity to serve and absolutely one of the highlights of my career.”
Jolley said his time as a senator will benefit him in his next position of tax commissioner.
“My responsibilities included writing the budget for five years as chairman of the Senator Appropriations Committee,” Jolley said. “That was a huge component in knowing the fiscal status of the state, and I was reliant on information from tax commissions to make budgets. I will unquestionably use this part of my background during my time as tax commissioner.”
According to Jolley, he felt called to be actively involved in public service while he was still in high school.
“Oklahoma Baptist University had an academy program for high school juniors,” Jolley said. “When I attended this program, I took an American national government class and I felt a calling at that point to be engaged in a type of public service. I have spent a great deal of my career in public service of some type. It’s been incredibly rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It is a huge honor to be involved in serving your fellow citizens.”
Jolley said although collecting taxes is a job nobody enjoys, he wants to serve the public in every way possible.
“I am going to make sure I administer the agency in an efficient way to improve customer service and do a better job of interacting with the Oklahoma taxpayer,” Jolley said. “I want to do this job as fairly and as efficiently as possible. I am going to make sure we are doing our best to be helpful to the taxpayer.”
Amanda Cooper, a marketing management major, is currently in one of Jolley’s classes at Oklahoma Christian.
“Jolley has a great ability to make an often-boring subject one that is interesting and easy to understand,” Cooper said. “I enjoy his class greatly, and he is fair and challenging. I’m very thankful to have gotten the opportunity to meet him this semester.”
Cooper said she believes Jolley will be a great fit for the tax commission.
“He is extremely personable and friendly, and has great knowledge of how our tax system works,” Cooper said. “I believe Jolley will do well by the people of Oklahoma in deciding how their tax money is spent. I am very excited for him as he embarks on this journey.”
Ken Johnson, director of the master of business administration program, said Jolley has represented Oklahoma and Oklahoma Christian extremely well.
“Jolley’s two terms as an Oklahoma senator will help him as the tax commissioner because he has experience in appropriation of state funds and understands the dynamics of revenue sources for state government,” Johnson said. “He has worked with several agencies within state government and has the working relationships needed to be effective as the commissioner. These relationships have great importance during Oklahoma’s current statewide financial difficulties.”
The Oklahoma State Senate confirmed Jolley’s appointment to the Tax Commission last week. His term will expire Jan. 10, 2018.