Robert E. Klabenes was appointed the third director of Oklahoma State Tech (now known as the OSU Institute of Technology or OSUIT). Twenty-seven years later, he retired as its longest-serving president.
By the time of his retirement, the campus had undergone $150 million in new construction and remodeling projects. Klabenes also facilitated the establishment of Green Country Technology Center, the College of the Muscogee Nation, the OSUIT MidAmerica Industrial Park Training Center, and the construction of a new 40,500 square foot student union.
The Donald W. Reynolds Technology Center was completed in 1998, featuring the latest educational facilities in the areas of watchmaking, manufacturing, multimedia, and automotive technologies.