University of Oklahoma regents will not meet with Boren this week
University of Oklahoma regents will not meet with former President David Boren this week but they could consider doing so in the future.
Boren, 78, asked in writing Tuesday to meet with the regents about the sexual misconduct investigation of him. His attorney, Clark Brewster, was told Wednesday the request will be submitted to the regents for their consideration and response.
The regents meet Thursday and Friday in Norman. Their next regular meeting after that is set for June 25-27 in Oklahoma City.
Boren's attorney told The Oklahoman on Tuesday the retired president "would like to directly and fully address the reckless course of conduct being pursued to shamelessly and falsely dishonor Oklahoma University and Mr. Boren's period of service and history of accomplishment to OU."
In a statement to the media Wednesday, the regents' chairman said they have taken "exceptional measures to ensure a thorough, independent, fair, confidential and impartial process that recognizes the seriousness of the allegations and respects the privacy of affected individuals."
The chairman, Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, also said, "We will preserve the integrity of the process by continuing to adhere to University policies and the law, and we remain firmly committed to doing the right thing."
The next step in the university's written policies on sexual misconduct complaints involves selecting a five-member panel to hear evidence. The regents' attorney, Drew Neville, told Boren's attorney Wednesday that panel has the responsibility of determining the factual issues, not the regents.
Boren, a former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator, retired last year after nearly 24 years in charge at OU. He has denied wrongdoing.
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The university last November hired the Jones Day law firm to investigate sexual misconduct allegations made against Boren. Regents were briefed on the law firm's findings on April 9. The law firm's report on the investigation is more than 50 pages long.
Attorneys with the law firm specifically looked into whether Boren abused his authority by making unwelcome advances toward male aides and male students. "The nature of the investigation is such that we're going to be asking questions about ... romantic and sexual overtures being made perhaps by President Boren," lead attorney Rick Deane told one witness in a Feb. 13 interview, according to a transcript.
Boren responded to the Jones Day report through his attorney April 29. That 16-page response, plus an additional 50 pages of attachments, has been given to regents for their review, The Oklahoman has learned.
Regents are expected to take up Boren's request during a closed session Thursday. They are not expected to vote on it Thursday, however, because of Open Meeting Act requirements regarding adequate advance notice to the public.
Agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation also are looking into the allegations against Boren.