NORMAN, Okla. - Joseph Harroz, dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Law, is the new interim president of OU.
Harroz is pretty well known around campus, especially among the law students, who said he made time for everyone.
Cameron Burleson is about to start his second year of law school, and he credits Harroz as the main reason that he chose OU Law.
“Dean Harroz has always been available; he's always ready to meet with students,” Burleson told News 4. “He really met with me early on in my undergraduate career and gave me all the tools to be successful to get to where I am now in law school.”
Burleson isn’t the only law student with high praise for OU’s new interim president.
“Dean Harroz is the type of guy that would stop to talk to anybody in the hall,” said Bailey Betz. “He’s more than willing to give anybody his time, and listen and understand what they need and what he can do to help.”
Students said they’ve also seen firsthand how Harroz deals with controversy.
A few months back, some students were unhappy with a different dean. They said the leadership that they saw from Harroz is exactly what they want in a president.
“There were some students that found what some comments he said to be extremely inappropriate,” Burleson said. “Dean Harroz handled that swiftly, he handles that fairly, and he was extremely transparent with the students about the situation that was ongoing.”
Others outside of the law school are concerned about the appointment, especially with Harroz’s ties to former OU President David Boren. Boren has been at the center of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, which they said Harroz knew about.
Boren has denied any wrongdoing.
"I have no doubt that Joe knows about that; Joe probably knows more than me. Joe worked for David Boren in the Senate,” said Boren accuser Jess Eddy. “Joe worked for David Boren longer than anyone I know of."
Harroz will serve as interim president for at least 15 months. He will also be considered for the permanent position.