Regents approve 2 new college heads
Two OU colleges will have new heads after action taken Thursday at the meeting of the Board of Regents.
Joe Harroz, a former OU general counsel, will head up the College of Law, while David Ray will shed the interim tag from his title as Dean of the Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College.
Harroz served for 12 years as OU’s general counsel, and left in 2008 to be president of Graymark Healthcare, Inc. in Oklahoma City. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from OU before earning a law degree from Georgetown, a release accompanying his announcement states.
He said two things mattered to him when deciding to accept the position: the kind of legacy he wanted to leave and how frequently an opportunity like this would be available.
“The last time this was available was 14 years ago,” he said. “For me, I thought about it, and to me the answer was, you can have a chance to be involved with students and I can do something I am passionate about, which is the law.”
He also has been an adjunct professor at the College of Law for the last 10 years, teaching employment and sports law, he said. Harroz said he plans to teach at least one class a year at the college and remain a director of Graymark.
Harroz was selected after a national search and was approved by an “overwhelming vote” of the law faculty, Boren said.
Ray has been a political science professor at OU since 1992. He took over as interim dean of the Honors College on July 1.
“If there’s any person on this campus that has the heart of a teacher, that puts students first, that values the teaching enterprise and all it means to our students, it’s David Ray,” Boren said.
Ray has won six teaching awards while at OU, according to a release that accompanied his selection.
Ray will begin as dean Thursday, while Harroz takes over from Andy Coats on July 1.
Also, OU will offer a bachelor’s degree in Arabic, if the new degree approved by the OU regents also is approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Boren said OU earned a federal grant which will help pay for professors’ salaries for the first “four or five years” of the program.
The regents also approved a plan for distributing more than $3.2 million of student fees for the 2010-11 school year. UOSA will receive $593,359 and Student Life will receive $581,696, the two largest line items on the distribution plan. Student Media will receive $169,561. The allocation is based on projected revenues from fees for the coming school year, the agenda for the meeting states.
American Airlines won a bidding process to provide $451,486 worth of air travel to the OU football team for the coming season, and the regents approved that bid Thursday. American’s bid was one of nine, and one of four from legacy carriers. American’s total bid cost was second-lowest of the bids from legacy carriers, larger than one from Continental, but under another bid from Continental and one from Delta. Boren is a member of the board of directors of American’s parent company, AMR.
OU also now has a conflict of interest policy that covers all campuses. Boren said the new policy is “preventative” and is not in response to any specific concern. The regents also approved changes to a separate conflict policy for the Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.
In his president’s comments, Boren said OU received a collection of Native American art from a collector in Arizona.
The gift from James Bialac includes about 3,700 works of art, according to a press release that accompanied Boren’s announcement. The pieces will be displayed in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the library at the College of Law and other places around campus, the release states. Eventually, a rotating collection of the pieces will be on permanent display in the Stuart Wing of the Jones Museum. That wing will be completed in 2011, the release states.
The regents also named Larry Wade chairman of the board and John Bell vice chairman. Wade, who had been vice chairman, replaces Max Weitzenhoffer as chairman. The new officers will begin their service at the next Regents’ meeting in May.