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OU Board of Regents hears update from OU President Joe Harroz, approves renovation projects

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OU Board of Regents

OU's Board of Regents during its meeting Dec. 2.

The OU Board of Regents heard an update on the university’s strategic plan, as well as approved renovation projects at the Stephenson Cancer Center, among other things.

The regular meeting came after the regents held a roughly two-hour executive session at a breakfast meeting, and a series of special committee meetings. It also came after news that Regent Phil Albert was accused by his former company of embezzling $7.4 million.

The board voted to create a retirement plan for OU employees and a safe harbor method that complies with a recently passed law. The 403(b) plan was previously passed to protect faculty and staff in the athletic department due to contractual agreements.

This amendment also allows in-service distributions to OU employees who have attained age 59 ½ or age 50 with 10 years of service, and upon the recommendation of the president and approval of the chair of the Board of Regents.

The Stephenson Cancer Center will also be renovated to build a new pharmacy for investigational drug patients and providing more care for infusion patients, which will help to meet strategic alignment needs of OU Health Sciences Center and OU Medicine. The total expenditure that cannot be exceeded is $10 million.

Interim OU President Joseph Harroz said the two main takeaways from the meeting were the electronic health records to improve the medical process and the strategic plan to improve three points at the university.

“Having this electronic health record at the individual allows a person to go in and sign up one time and go across our department in a much better way, and also allows us to do all sorts of things that make the patient experience and outcome a lot better,” Harroz said. “It is going to allow us to leave the clinical space, which drives almost everything at the Health Sciences Center.”

The amendment allows the OU Medicine Inc. Board and Epic System Corporations to make an electronic health record system with a five-year budget of $26.6 million dollars for the university’s allocated share.

The meeting also included an update on Harroz’s strategic plan — which is aimed at addressing issues such as tuition, technology and demographic changes at the university.

“I really think that, at the core of who we are, as we think about our lovely institution, being able to set a plan out there that we can pursue and achieve — given our mission — is as exciting as it gets,” Harroz said.

Harroz will present another update of the plan in roughly two months.

There will be further town hall meetings at the other OU campuses beginning Wednesday to discuss the strategic plan and get a full grasp of the needs of the university.

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