Practice & Policy Lecture Series
Provided by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet:

The Practice and Policy Lecture Series has been developed to provide thought-provoking presentations on Oklahoma's emerging policy issues, trends and best practices. The series is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Office of Planning, Research and Statistics and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management with the goal of providing the best educational opportunities available in a forum that offers participants an opportunity to question, share and learn from each other.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Child Care
Child Welfare
Customer Service
Developmental Disabilities
Domestic Violence 
Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
Health Care
Marriage and Family
Poverty Solutions

Wed., Feb. 23, 2011, Noon to 1 p.m.

Why the Institutions Died
Oklahoma History Center, Chesapeake Room
800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Ed Skarnulis, Educator and Former Director
Developmental Disabilities Services

OKDHS Developmental Disabilities Services Division

About the Speaker:
Ed Skarnulis was born in Sioux City, Iowa and has lived in numerous states including Nebraska, where he received his higher education degrees. His practice experience has included work with children and adults who are developmentally disabled and their families, as well as program administrator, professor and department head at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn., from 1990 to 2000 and Texas A&M University at Commerce, Texas from 2000 to 2006. He was the Deputy Commissioner of Mental Retardation in Texas and held similar state director positions in Kentucky and Minnesota.

During his tenure as an academician he was appointed by various federal courts to oversee the closure of institutions, such as in Homeward Bound v. Hissom Memorial Center. Dr. Skarnulis was appointed by U.S. Senior Judge James Ellison to oversee the closure of the Hissom Memorial Center and ensure proper placement of residents with appropriate programmatic supports into community settings. He has served as an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice, the State of Connecticut, New York and other states in cases involving appropriate individual and systemic service delivery for people with developmental disabilities.

Related Information:
Thoughts of a Former State Director on Closing Institutions (.pdf, 5 pp, 353 KB)
Video, Audio and Transcript (Opens in new window.)

Last Updated: June 18, 2015
Provided by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Street address: Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Mailing address: P.O. Box 25352, Oklahoma City, OK 73125
(405) 521-3646
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