OU Commencement ceremony 2019

OU President James L. Gallogly speaks during the OU Commencement ceremony, Friday, May 10, 2019, at Lloyd Noble Center. (Kyle Phillips / The Transcript)

President James Gallogly has announced he plans to retire after a year with the University of Oklahoma.

Gallogly released a letter Sunday stating he plans to retire "once [the Board of Regents] have a transition plan in place." The timeline for that was not stated.

In his announcement, Gallogly noted the goals met by his administration. It conducted a review of university finances, particularly on the Norman campus, and made cuts in order to reverse an operations budget deficit.

In the process, tuition was kept flat and a faculty raise program was introduced.

"Janet (his wife) and I will continue to serve our university in other ways in the future," Gallogly wrote. "Our love of the university and its people has only grown this past year. I will always remember running with the Ruff-Neks, jumping out of an airplane with the Black Daggers for the Army football game, sharing hurt and dismay we all felt as we watched a shameful, racist video, but most of all, shaking the hands of joyous students as they walked across the stage to receive their hard-earned diplomas. After all, our work is always about our students' success."

Gallogly also addressed the ongoing personnel investigation being handled by the OU Board of Regents. Specifically, he spoke about a "false narrative" that he said has led to questions being asked about that investigation and his involvement.

"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 diminish the legacy of our past president," Gallogly wrote. "That false narrative is now 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."

Gallogly goes onto explain that the university has followed what the law requires of in this instance. Part of that process, he said, is the ability to lobby an appeal of the investigation's findings, and the president is normally part of that appeal process.

"Given I am departing, I will not serve in the appellate process role going forward and a third party, yet to be appointed, will take my place," Gallogly said.

There have been no final determinations of innocence or guilt at this point in time. That is important to remember. When there is a determination, that result should not be questioned by suggestions that there were ever any false motives in this legally mandated process."

That investigation is reportedly about allegations of sexual misconduct against former president David Boren. In the last week, Boren's attorney Clark Brewster, while explaining why his client wanted to meet with the Board of Regents, said he was concerned by the amount of Gallogly's involvement.

In December, multiple sources told The Transcript that Gallogly and Boren's relationship had soured. Gallogly has denied this and that he sent a message to Boren vowing to "destroy" him.

Gallogly wrote that the budget issues he discovered last summer prior to officially taking office were in the process of being fixed. He will be a part of the budget presentation for Fiscal Year 2020 to the Board of Regents meeting in June.

"While we have made progress, the job has not been completed. We are preparing a FY 20 budget for presentation in June," he said. "The hope is to continue to hold tuition flat for our undergraduates so that a great OU education is affordable for all qualified Oklahomans as well as others from our nation and the world who want the hard earned privilege of being called a 'Sooner' for life. We also have additional salary increases to implement for our dedicated faculty and staff. The savings realized to date, and the other plans we are working on, should give us the confidence that such is possible."

Gov. Kevin Stitt released a statement praising Gallogly's response to what he called a "historical financial crisis." 

"He hit the ground running, working to deliver efficiencies in order to keep tuition flat for students and casting vision to grow OU’s graduate research programs," Stitt said. "Gallogly’s love for his alma mater is evident, and I appreciate the time he gave to strengthen the foundation of this important university. I am confident the OU Board of Regents will make a wise and timely selection to succeed Gallogly.”

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