University of Oklahoma President David Boren has announced his retirement at the end of this academic year.
Boren addressed the university Wednesday afternoon to a packed audience at the Reynolds Performing Arts Center in Holmberg Hall, where he announced he will step down.
“I have always understood there would be a time when I should pass the baton to a new president,” Boren said. “I have thought long and hard about what is best for our university. I have wanted a transition to occur when the university is at maximum strength. I believe that the right time has come.”
Boren will retire on June 30, 2018, contingent upon the selection of his permanent successor. If a permanent president has not yet been named by that time, Boren says he will remain in the position until a permanent selection is made.
“Serving as your president has been the most rewarding period of my life. So many of you in this room have rubbed off on me. So many special friendships have been made. It’s impossible for me to express my appreciation to you,” Boren said.
Boren will have served nearly 24 years as president of OU, a tenure exceeded only by that of George Cross, who was president from 1943 to 1968.
OU senior JD Baker is the president of the Student Government Association. He says he admires Boren’s dedication to quality of life at the university.
“He thinks about the students and making sure the university provides a certain experience to the students, and that the students get what they deserve out of the institution,” Baker said.
In a written statement, Oklahoma State University president Burns Hargis congratulated Boren on his career.
“Personally, I appreciate his collaboration and friendship. He has been a wonderful partner to me and Oklahoma State,” Hargis wrote. “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.”
Since the beginning of Boren’s term in November 1994, he has overseen more than two billion dollars in construction across OU’s campuses. He played a role in the creation of the College of International Studies, the Honors College and the religious studies program, among many other institutions. He and his wife, Molly Shi Boren, have spearheaded fundraising and expanded the university art museum’s collection.
Boren has also served as a state senator representing Seminole from 1967 to 1974, governor from 1974 to 1978, and as U.S. Senator from 1979 to 1994.
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