The University of Oklahoma announced today the appointment of Armand Paliotta as vice president and general counsel, pending OU Board of Regents’ approval.
An OU alumnus with more than 30 years of legal experience, Paliotta will return to his alma mater on Oct. 1 from the Oklahoma City law firm Hartzog Conger Cason LLP, where he serves as a member of its executive committee. His legal expertise spans a wide range of practice areas, including business and financial transactions, health care, complex contract negotiations, real estate finance, securities and business law, tax planning and tax controversies, and sports franchise matters.
A national search was conducted for the position, attracting 17 qualified candidates. The search committee – made up of eight members, including representatives from the Office of Executive Affairs, the Board of Regents, Office of Human Resources, Health Sciences Center Provost’s Office, Athletics, Office of Emergency Operations and the College of Law – interviewed 10 applications with five invited for formal interviews, ultimately selecting three finalists.
“An accomplished leader in the Oklahoma legal community with a long and deep commitment to OU, Armand Paliotta brings excellence, unsurpassed integrity and a collaborative spirit to this key leadership role,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “Over the last three decades, he has built a significant legal portfolio that will translate well to the higher education and academic health care environment, positioning OU for new levels of excellence. Armand’s appreciation and enthusiasm for his alma mater became abundantly clear during the search process, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to the University of Oklahoma.”
As vice president and general counsel, Paliotta will lead the legal strategy for the university’s three campuses, as well as the other two universities the OU Board of Regents govern – Rogers State University and Cameron University. He will also be responsible for a wide scope of work, including litigation, university and athletics compliance, threat assessment and collections, as well as executing high-impact legal initiatives to achieve overall institutional goals.
At Hartzog Conger Cason, Paliotta has successfully closed transactions aggregating over a billion dollars and has served as lead counsel and negotiator in matters ranging from international mergers and acquisitions to NBA player issues. Most recently, he played a pivotal role in the historic agreement to form OU Health, Oklahoma’s first comprehensive academic health system, authoring the legal opinion delivered in June 2021 to OU Medicine, the OU Board of Regents, and the University Hospitals Authority and Trust regarding the legality of the merger.
Paliotta also served as outside general counsel for the NBA’s New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets for the three years that the franchise was located in Oklahoma City.
“Armand Paliotta has demonstrated remarkable legal acumen and leadership abilities throughout his 30-year career,” said OU Vice President for Executive Affairs Sean Burrage, who chaired the search committee. “His breadth of experience and strong commitment to our public mission will serve the institution well and will help shepherd our university to new heights.”
Highly respected in the legal community, Paliotta was appointed to the Oklahoma Securities Commission and served from 2005-2012, including one year as chair. He also has served as chair of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Business and Corporate Law Section. He has served on the OU College of Law’s Board of Visitors since 2012, and he has taught law students as an adjunct professor at both OU Law and Oklahoma City University School of Law.
Paliotta earned a bachelor of business administration from OU in 1989 followed by a juris doctorate from OU in 1992, where he graduated second in his law school class academically.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit ou.edu.