OU President David Boren announces retirement

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Quick Facts:

  • University of Oklahoma president, David Boren, made an announcement about the university's future on Wednesday afternoon
  • The announcement took place at the Reynolds Performing Arts Center in Holmberg Hall at 2 p.m.
  • Boren announced his retirement after 23 years with the university.
  • DOWNLOAD the FOX23 News app for updates on your phone

 

David Boren,  longtime president of the University of Oklahoma, made an announcement about the university's future on Wednesday. 

He announced his retirement, which will be effective at the end of the school year in June, unless a successor has not yet been named.

Boren, a former Oklahoma governor and senator, became president of the university in 1994. 

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum thanked Boren for his service to the state in a Facebook post after the announcement:

Oklahoma State University president Burns Hargis commended Boren's "remarkable career":

“Oklahoma State University commends President Boren on his remarkable career and epic success. His dedication and leadership as President of the University of Oklahoma has contributed to the betterment of our state and higher education."

“Personally, I appreciate his collaboration and friendship. He has been a wonderful partner to me and Oklahoma State."

“The state of Oklahoma owes David Boren its deepest gratitude. His lifetime of public service has earned him a place as one of Oklahoma’s finest statesmen. We appreciate all he has done and OSU wishes him all the best.”

FOX23 was LIVE from the university for the announcement:

Here's a look back at his career:

Social media rumors began Tuesday night that Boren could be announcing his retirement. OU sent a news release Wednesday morning about a 2 p.m. announcement from Boren. 

Boren said he will not publicly announce who he wants to replace him. He said it is up to the board of regents to decide that, and he said he does not want to give undue influence.

He said he felt like he didn't have the energy to keep on the way he was going, and he wanted to leave on a high note when the university was at its greatest.

Boren will continue to teach part-time in a Freshman level civics class.

He reflected on his time at the university Wednesday, noting the university's handling the 2015 SAE scandal and the murder of OU ballerina Juli Busken.

Boren also said he was proud to tell Harvard and Yale that a public institution had more National Merit Scholars than they did.

He said it was an honor to serve the people of Oklahoma as governor and in the U.S. Senate, but it has been one of the biggest blessings in his life to lead the university.

Other officials across the state remarked on Boren's legacy.

Tulsa Community College released a statement Wednesday:

"University of Oklahoma President David Boren is a transformative leader. He's had a tremendous impact on higher education in the state of Oklahoma.

"He has used his experience and skills learned as a Governor of Oklahoma and U.S. Senator to benefit not just the students attending OU but students through the state and the achievement of academic excellence.

Personally, he's served as a mentor for me in leading by example and leading the conversation about higher education."

The Tulsa Regional Chamber also noted Boren's achievements:

"Twenty-three years ago, the OU Board of Regents showed incredible foresight in choosing David Boren, one of our state's most accomplished leaders and public servants, to lead the University of Oklahoma," said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. "His focus on recruiting national merit scholars has lifted the reputation of education in our state. Raising the standards and profile of OU has raised the profile of Oklahoma's entire higher education system.
 
"On behalf of the business community, let me say how much we at the Chamber appreciate President Boren's strong advocacy for the importance of higher education in Oklahoma, and his leadership for better and adequate funding for education at all levels. As the president of a major university, he displayed great courage to support K-12 funding.
 
"His courageous leadership will leave a legacy in Tulsa that will stand for many generations, most visibly through institutions such as the Schusterman Center and the School of Community Medicine. His impact will also live on through OU's partnership with the University of Tulsa on a four-year medical school, and through his leadership in focusing attention on improving health outcomes for Tulsans living in underserved areas. OU has been a critical partner in the work to reduce the differential in life expectancy between zip codes in Tulsa. OU's specialty clinic and health care data have been especially impactful in this regard.
 
"It is safe to say that David Boren – as an academic and as a public servant for five decades – will leave an indelible footprint on our region, our state and our nation. He is – and will continue to be – an example to all of us who aspire to improve our communities."

Lt. Governor Todd Lamb commended Boren for his public service:

"I commend President Boren for his years of public service and his lifelong commitment to bettering the state of Oklahoma. Whether it was his service as a state representative, as Oklahoma's 21st governor, as a United States Senator or his current role as president of the University of Oklahoma, David Boren has dedicated his life to serving Oklahoma. I wish him an enjoyable and healthy retirement."

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) called Boren an "Oklahoma institution:"

“President Boren is an Oklahoma institution. Throughout his five decades of public life, President Boren has honorably served the people of his state and nation. I join many Oklahomans today to express my gratitude to President Boren for his faithful service to the University of Oklahoma. The relationships he forged from his service as Governor and US Senator have brought OU exciting new opportunities and tremendous growth and success. Over the last 23 years as president, he has continued a long tradition of leadership of academic excellence and student success.”

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) also released a statement:

"David Boren has been a dedicated public servant to the citizens of Oklahoma for decades and has served the University of Oklahoma with distinction. I wish my friend all the best for his retirement at the end of the academic year." 

Gov. Mary Fallin said she's known Boren for a long time in a statement:

"I have known President Boren for a long time, and have a great respect for him. I appreciate his dedication and commitment to the University of Oklahoma. He is a tireless promoter of OU, and I'm sure he will continue to be a strong advocate for all levels of education after his retirement. President Boren clearly meets the definition of being a public servant, having spent 50 years in public service as a legislator, governor, U.S. senator and, for the past 23 years, as the 13th president of OU. He deserves thanks from all Oklahomans." 

The President of the University of Tulsa reflected on time spent working with Boren:

"I have had the pleasure of working with David Boren for 17 years. First and foremost, I want to thank him for his commitment to Oklahoma and America throughout his many years of public service. I also deeply appreciate his guidance and friendship for our entire family."

FOX23 was at the news conference and streamed it live on Facebook and sent updates on the FOX23 News app


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