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OU Board of Regents names Joseph Harroz interim president effective immediately

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The OU Board of Regents meets in Oklahoma City May 16. Freedom of Information Oklahoma gave the board the Black Hole Award at a ceremony on Wednesday. 

The OU Board of Regents named OU College of Law Dean Joseph Harroz interim OU president Friday at a special meeting following OU President James Gallogly’s announcement of his intent to retire.

Harroz, current dean of the OU College of Law and director of the Law Center, will serve as president until a permanent president is selected.

The board voted for Harroz to be interim president for at least 15 months, and voted for Harroz to be made eligible for consideration as permanent president.

Harroz’s selection came after the regents met in executive section for nearly six hours. The executive session began minutes after the meeting began at 8:15 p.m. and ended just before 2:00 a.m.

Harroz has long-standing ties to the university — he is an OU graduate and an Oklahoma native, and he was selected as OU’s vice president for executive affairs in 1994, according to the OU College of Law website.

Harroz was named OU’s general counsel in 1996, serving as the chief legal counsel to the university and the OU Board of Regents for 12 years, the longest tenure in the position in OU history, according to the website.

Harroz earned his juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center, according to the site, and was an associate editor of the Journal of Law and Policy in International Business.

According to the site, Harroz served as legislative director and legal counsel to former OU President David Boren during Boren’s time as a U.S. senator.

Additional experience includes Harroz’s time as president of a publicly traded health care company from 2008 to 2010. He also was a founding member of the Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and is a current board member of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

Harroz’s selection follows a Wednesday event where several members of the OU community gathered to voice concerns on the state of the university and to ask for transparency from the Board of Regents in a potential search for or selection of a permanent president.

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