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University of Oklahoma President Steps Down After One Year in Office

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After leading the University of Oklahoma for less than a year, President Jim Gallogly has announced his plans to retire, the university said in a statement.

A former business executive, Gallogly’s tenure as the president started last July. The announcement came one day after the university concluded its 2019 commencement ceremonies.

“We will respect President Gallogly’s decision to retire as president of the University of Oklahoma,” Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, chairman of the OU Board of Regents, said.

Rainbolt-Forbes lauded Gallogly for tackling various issues facing the university, including the improvement of the school’s financial discipline, focusing on results and effectiveness and saving $47.5 million in costs during the last fiscal year. He is also credited with holding tuition at a flat rate and giving pay raises to faculty members.

“The work he had to do and the decisions he had to make were not always easy, but he made them with great professionalism and personal courage, always with a focus on the best interests of OU,” Rainbolt-Forbes added. “Our university is in a better place today because of Jim.”

After taking over the office, Gallogly discovered substantial losses incurred by the Norman campus under former university president David Boren who served the university for 24 years.

“As I began preparing the university budget for a June presentation, it became obvious that the Norman campus had been operating at significant losses for the last couple of years, had grown its debt, and had limited cash reserves,” Gallogly wrote in the statement.

“We later discovered that gifts and alumni support statistics were significantly over-stated in various filings (though not at our foundation), and that a couple of new housing projects on campus had low occupancy rates and were struggling.”

The university also hired the Jones Day law firm to investigate a sexual misconduct complaint filed by former OU student, Jess Eddy, against Boren. Eddy alleged Boren of inappropriate touching and kissing while he was working as a teaching aide.

“The university was required by law to commence an investigation upon the receipt of complaint(s),” Gallogly said. “That process has been ongoing according to its procedural mandate.”

In January, the handling of a racist incident on campus by school officials evoked criticism as well, ultimately leading to calls for the president to resign. Two students who made a video wearing blackface and uttering racist slurs students were eventually forced to leave the campus.

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