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Interim OU President Joseph Harroz announces changes to come to development office, OU Foundation to "guide" in consulting relationship

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The OU Foundation will guide the Office of University Development through organizational change, interim OU President Joseph Harroz wrote in a letter to the OU community.

In the Tuesday evening letter, Harroz wrote that the foundation will guide the office through a 12-month consulting relationship "to set us on a path of excellence."

"It is clear our university needs to accomplish important, fundamental changes in our alumni and fundraising operations – changes in organization, structure and processes," Harroz wrote. "These changes are necessary for us to achieve our ambitious goals. The changes require expertise and must be done quickly."

Harroz wrote that the OU Foundation and its president, Guy Patton, have the "expertise and experience with OU and our alumni" to lead the university in the transition.

Harroz wrote that Jill Hughes, who has served as interim vice president for university development since July 2, 2018, will continue to serve in a senior leadership position in development.

Preliminary reports show total gifts and pledges for FY19 were more than $154 million, Harroz wrote, which was 1.4% behind FY18 gifts and pledges.

"(Hughes) has demonstrated expertise and passion as a development leader," Harroz wrote, "and the university was fortunate to be able to turn to her at a time when her skills were required to sustain our development functions."

Harroz wrote that the change to the development office will provide the structure for the university to succeed in fundraising and alumni development in the future.

"Our university must be fully prepared with a framework to provide sufficient resources to ensure our mission is fulfilled – to educate the next generation of leaders, create knowledge, and serve society," Harroz wrote.

After the release of the letter, The Daily asked OU Public Affairs in an email whether the office or OU Foundation will take charge of the reorganization, but has not received a reply as of 6:25 p.m. July 9.

Scott Kirker is a letters and Spanish senior and summer editor-in-chief of The Daily. Previously he worked as a news reporter covering research and administrative searches.

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