OU names interim president after executive session

Joseph Harroz Jr.

NORMAN, Okla. — The OU Board of Regents have named Joseph Harroz, Jr. as the interim president of the university.

The decision comes after a closed-door meeting that started at 8:15 pm and went into the early morning. Harroz, Jr. is the current dean of OU Law and former legal counsel for David Boren.

A statement released by the board following the meeting states that he’ll hold the position for at least 15 months, with the possibility of it becoming permanent.

The meeting came three days after Jim Gallogly announced his retirement after less than a year with OU.

“On behalf of the Board of Regents, I am pleased to announce tonight that OU College of Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. has been appointed as interim president of the University of Oklahoma. His nationally recognized leadership of the OU College of Law and his many years of service as vice president of executive affairs and general counsel give him an unequalled understanding of OU.

The Regents were well aware of Harroz’s capabilities from the thorough vetting done by the presidential search committee last year. It was through that process we were reminded how contagious his passion and enthusiasm are and how seriously he takes accountability and responsibility.

In his eight years as dean of the OU College of Law, Harroz has proven himself an effective leader and administrator with a collaborative leadership style that helped the school achieve distinction in virtually everything it does – from rankings, student success and being best-value, to volunteerism, fundraising and innovation.

We know there are other challenges ahead and, thanks to the process and team that Jim Gallogly put in place, we believe we will turn the corner on financial issues. Tremendous progress was made in the last year thanks to President Gallogly. Over $47.5m in cost-savings were identified; tuition was held flat at the same time granting much overdue pay raises to our deserving faculty. Our university is in a better place today because of Jim.

We thank Jim for his support during this transition and look forward to working with Joe as interim president knowing that he will be effective in advancing OU’s mission while continuing to build on its now solid financial foundation,” a statement by Chairman of the OU Board of Regents Leslie J. Rainbolt-Forbes read.

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