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OU-Tulsa announces president's upcoming resignation, names incoming acting president

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OU-Tulsa President John H. Schumann (left), who announced his resignation June 11, and James J. Sluss (right), the associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the Tulsa Graduate College at OU-Tulsa, who will serve as the acting president effective Aug. 2.

OU announced the resignation of OU-Tulsa President John H. Schumann effective July 30 in a Friday university press release. 

Schumann accepted a clinical position at Oak Street Health, ending his presidency, which began in January 2015, according to the release. His leadership resulted in the launch of new computer science, social work, information science and technology programs, alongside the Presidential Research Series, which showcases the research of OU-Tulsa faculty. 

Research expenditures for Norman-based programs increased from $277,000 to $2.8 million throughout his tenure of over six years, according to the release.

Schumann was also “committed to building a more welcoming and inclusive campus,” according to the release. He hired the inaugural OU-Tulsa director of diversity, equity and inclusion in 2018 and encouraged the growth of diverse programming by facilitating campus collaborations with the Tulsa Regional Chamber Mosaic, Pride Parade, MLK Parade, Discussions on Diversity and the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. 

“Though we are sad to lose him, President Schumann’s return to the healthcare field further illustrates his commitment to OU’s fundamental purpose of changing lives,” OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. said in the release. “We’ve benefited these past six years from his leadership at OU-Tulsa, and we’re incredibly thankful for (the) impact he has had.”

James J. Sluss Jr., the associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the Tulsa Graduate College at OU-Tulsa, will serve as the acting president effective Aug. 2. Harroz said in the release that Sluss, who has been at OU-Tulsa since 2005, is the “ideal person to lead OU-Tulsa throughout this important transition” because of his “long-served tenure” at OU-Tulsa and his “familiarity with the campus’ history.” 

“I am grateful for this opportunity to lead OU-Tulsa as we begin this next chapter,” said Sluss in the release. “Since 1957, OU has been in the Tulsa community and I will work hard to ensure we continue to grow and we increase opportunities for students to achieve their educational goals, faculty to teach and conduct impactful research and for all of us to continue to serve our community.” 

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