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Interim OU President Joseph Harroz releases letter to OU alumni, voices optimism

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Interim OU President Joseph Harroz speaks with SGA President Adran Gibbs May 17.

Interim OU President Joseph Harroz released a letter Friday discussing the state of the university, his story as a part of the Sooner family and asking alumni to continue supporting the university.

When he came to OU as a student in 1985, Harroz said in the letter, he found a community that challenged him to be his best. The university has grown since then, Harroz said in the letter, with 18 colleges over three campuses and over 7,500 alumni graduating each year.

“OU is the shining example of a great public research institution where talent is welcome regardless of background,” Harroz said in the letter.

In the letter, Harroz acknowledged his administration may face continuing challenges, but he said he was optimistic moving forward.

We know that we are in the midst of an important and challenging transition for the institution,” Harroz said in the letter. “Leadership changes are difficult. We have to continue working to put the institution’s finances on a firm foundation for the next generation of OU excellence. I am confident that we can overcome any obstacles together.”

Harroz mentioned in the letter plans to continue expanding in research, a hallmark of former OU President James Gallogly’s presidency, as well as growing educational opportunities and preparing students to become “part of something greater than themselves,” and asked alumni to continue supporting the university in this mission.

“I am committed to working tirelessly to advance our state’s flagship university,” Harroz said in the letter. “My request of you is that you invest more than ever in our university. Your support – from scholarships and student mentorships to advocacy and engagement – is needed now more than ever. The commitment and care of our OU family have made our university a beacon for generations, and we must continue that commitment and care for the generations that come next.”

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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