University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly to step down
After less than a year in office, University of Oklahoma President James L. Gallogly is stepping down.
OU announced Sunday evening that Gallogly, 66, will retire. The announcement came just one day after the university finished with its 2019 commencement ceremonies.
During Gallogly's 10 months as university president, OU has been rocked by an investigation into former President David Boren, numerous on-campus incidents and a budget upheaval.
Among his accomplishments, Gallogly managed to keep tuition rates flat and raise faculty pay for the first time in years.
“I have advised our Board of Regents of my plans to retire once they have a transition plan in place,” Gallogly said in a prepared statement. “Janet and I have been honored to serve our university. This has been the most important work of our lives, and it was with great pride that we watched our first class graduate this weekend.”
OU hired the Jones Day law firm in November to investigate sexual misconduct allegations made against Boren.
Boren, 78, denies wrongdoing.
The OU Board of Regents have met three times in executive session to discuss “ongoing personnel investigations.”
- Related to this story
- Article: Gallogly's short tenure judged by budget cuts, reaction to racist incident
- Article: At OU, cash donations fall, pledges rise
- Article: OU finances 'turning a corner,' Gallogly says
- Article: Learning to be president at OU was a trial by fire for James Gallogly
- Article: University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly to step down
- Article: Statement from President James L. Gallogly
- Article: Boren, Hall accusers issue statement about Gallogly's retirement
- Article: Students asking 'What's Next' after Gallogly retirement announcement
- Video: University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly to step down
- Video: James Gallogly: One Year at OU
Gallogly said he will not be a part of any decision on personnel investigations going forward. Under OU’s written policy, the president has the final say on sanctions in a sexual misconduct complaint.
“The Jones Day law firm was hired to conduct an independent and unbiased, expert investigation and issue a report which the firm has now done,” Gallogly said. “The process also allows for an appeal of findings. The sitting president of the university is normally a part of the Title IX appeals process. Given I am departing, I will not serve in the appellate process role going forward and a third party, yet to be appointed, will take my place.”
Boren supporters and his attorney have complained that Gallogly was driving the investigation.
"This is not an objective search for the truth. It is a persecution," Boren’s attorney, Bob Burke said in February.
Gallogly said those statements were intended to drive a wedge between Gallogly and Boren as well as cast doubt on the investigation.
“A false narrative has been created that the explanation of the university’s financial condition, the disclosures of improper gift reporting, and changes to various people serving in the administration were somehow intended to diminish the legacy of our past president,” Gallogly said. “That false narrative is now also being used to question the motives and propriety of the ongoing investigation of alleged misconduct by person(s) yet to be disclosed by the university.”
As soon as Gallogly took over as the 14th president in school history in July 2018, he announced that OU was in a financial crisis and that the university would be forced to make cuts to both staff and programs.
On Sunday, Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement that Gallogly’s dedication was critical in strengthening the foundation of OU.
“James Gallogly is an upstanding individual who stepped in to lead the University of Oklahoma through a historical financial crisis,” Stitt said. “Gallogly’s love for his alma mater is evident.
“I am confident the OU Board of Regents will make a wise and timely selection to succeed Gallogly.”
OU Regent Chairman Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes said Gallogly’s work on the university budget was critical.
“Jim’s tireless work on behalf of the institution he loves enabled him to accomplish in 12 months a magnitude of work that ordinarily would have taken years,” she said. “He quickly assembled an excellent team and got straight to work tackling critical issues. He applied his business leadership and acumen to improving the school’s financial discipline and focus on results and effectiveness.”
Gallogly was criticized for his handling of several racist incidents on campus, including an incident in January when two students wore black face on social media.
Students marched on campus and demanded more diversity representation in OU’s faculty and staff.
Gallogly, who came out of retirement to become OU’s president after running several huge corporations including holding executive positions with ConocoPhillips, ChevronPhillips and Phillips Petroleum, told The Oklahoman in April that the job of university president was much harder than he’d ever imagined.
“I thought this would be an easy job, and I wouldn’t work long hours,” Gallogly said in March. “Boy, was I wrong.”
Boren, a former U.S. senator and governor, retired in June after nearly 24 years as the president at OU.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations is also investigating sexual misconduct allegations against Boren and former Vice President Tripp Hall.