Former dean not backing off lawsuit against OU amid sudden retirement announcement from president

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NORMAN, Okla. – A former college at the University of Oklahoma will not back down from a lawsuit against the school, despite a sudden retirement announcement from OU president James Gallogly.

Gallogly, the university’s 14th president, succeeded David Boren and took office in July 2018. Recently, Boren and former OU vice president Tripp Hall have been accused by two graduates of sexual misconduct.

In a statement issued Sunday evening, Gallogly stated he sought the job as “an opportunity to outline a new path forward for our beloved institution” and “signed a contract with a blank in the salary space. However, we did not set a term given my age.”

Gallogly also suggested a “false narrative” had been created that “explanation of the university’s financial condition, the disclosures of improper gift reporting and charges to various people serving in the administration were somehow intended to diminish the legacy of our past president.”

A statement from the OU Board of Regents commended Gallogly’s business leadership.

“Jim’s exhaustive work on our finances has produced $47.5 million in costs savings the past year which is incredible,” said a statement from OU Board of Regents chairman Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes. “As a result, Jim held tuition flat while at the same time granted pay raises to our deserving faculty.”

Some, however, have remained critical.

Dr. Suzette Grillot, a professor of international studies, is a former college dean. She has been with the university for 21 years.

“There’s a misperception on many people’s parts that there were no problems before Jim Gallogly stepped on campus before financial ones, and that’s really not the truth,” Grillot said.

In March, Grillot filed a lawsuit against the university after what she described as years of mistreatment. As of Monday, she told News 4 that she had no plans of dropping the lawsuit or the claims.

“I will still see Jim Gallogly in court, as well as Kyle Harper and members of the Board of Regents,” Grillot said. “They need to be held accountable. They need to be held accountable for their unlawful and inappropriate behavior and conduct. Not only what they’ve done to me — the discrimination, the retaliation, the harassment, the intimidation — all of that stuff they did to me, they’ve done to others.”

Following a number of emails, we brought our questions to the president’s office. They did not comment directly on the lawsuit itself, but they said they had not received it at last check.

As for the search process for the next OU president, the statement from university reads: “The OU Board of Regents and President Gallogly are working together on laying out a plan for a smooth transition.” Gallogly will also continue to serve on the Visitor Boards of OU’s Engineering and Law Schools.

Grillot said several unresolved issues remain at large.

“There were problems at OU under David Boren that were known to the regents that then ran a secret search to replace him,” she said. “Who is the interim going to be? How are they going to select an interim? How inclusive is that process going to be — that transition in leadership?”

To read Gallogly’s full statement, click here.

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