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Oklahoma City University President announces retirement

Robert Henry on Flash Point

OKLAHOMA CITY – The president of Oklahoma City University will soon retire, he announced Thursday.

Today, Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry announced his plans to retire effective June 30, 2018.

The university’s 17th president, Henry took the helm at OCU in July 2010.

During his tenure, Oklahoma City University moved its School of Law downtown to the historic Central High School building, introduced new academic programs including a Physician Assistant program, and brought a number of nationally renowned speakers to campus, including two Supreme Court justices.

Henry, a former Oklahoma legislator and attorney general and chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, plans to focus on several writing and legal projects during a one-year sabbatical, after which he plans to return to the university to teach law and other subjects.

“When I accepted the position of president, I committed to a five-year appointment,” Henry said. “I have tremendously enjoyed my time in this role, and after eight successful years, now is the right time to retire.”

Henry said he and his wife, Jan, have cherished their time with the university and its people.

“We have been privileged to get to know the most talented students and see them pursue their dreams here in Oklahoma, on Broadway, and around the world,” Henry said. “Along with extraordinarily dedicated trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, and especially the students, we have enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate and promote the university’s ideals of scholarship and servant leadership.”

Henry’s lifetime of work on behalf of Oklahoma has resulted in numerous honors and awards.

He was named Leadership Oklahoma’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, was recognized as OKC Friday’s OKCITYAN of the Year, was named an honorary member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, received the Dalsimer Dean’s Award from the Pepperdine School of Law, earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dialogue Institute of Oklahoma City for interfaith initiatives, received the Scribes Lifetime Achievement Award for legal writing and received the John and Joy Reed Belt Leadership in Arts and Education Award from Harding Fine Arts Academy. Henry also was inducted into the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Hall of Fame in 2015.

A national search process for a new president will begin this summer and a campus wide university search committee will be formed.

The committee will include university trustees, tenured faculty, staff and administrators.