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James Gallogly's retirement reflective of tumultuous relationship with David Boren, previous administration

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Gallogly and Boren

When James Gallogly was announced as OU’s 14th president in March 2018, he lauded the accomplishments of his predecessor David Boren.  

On Sunday, Gallogly cited perceptions of a negative relationship between him and Boren in announcing his plans to retire.

“Unfortunately, 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 in a statement. “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.”

Less than one year after officially taking office, Gallogly has announced he plans to retire once a succession plan is in place. He spent much of his time as president focused on issues from a previous administration.

With investigations into sexual harassment against Boren, alleged financial disarray, and discovery of misreported financial numbers, many came to believe the two were in a feud.

At his first OU Board of Regents meeting acting as president in June 2018, Gallogly surprisingly espoused a different tone than he had been about staying the course on what Boren had built, and said the university was nearly $1 billion in debt and that he would prioritize the university’s finances.

On July 2, 2018, when Gallogly officially took office, he fired a number of Boren’s top lieutenants including university CFO Nick Hathaway. In November, the university also removed Boren associates Tripp Hall and J.P. Audas from their positions within OU’s Department of Development.

In December, The Daily reported the university had contracted the Jones Day law firm to investigate if OU had misreported donation data to U.S. News & World Report’s college ranking list under Boren’s administration. The university discovered numbers had been inflated.

Gallogly denied there was any public feud between him and Boren after The Norman Transcript reported in December that Gallogly had threatened Boren during the transition, something Gallogly denied vehemently.

In February, media reports revealed the university was investigating allegations of sexual harassment against Boren. Throughout the investigation, Gallogly and the OU Board of Regents at every turn emphasized the fact Gallogly was not directly involved with the investigation.

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