The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents met yesterday in Lawton at their annual October meeting. OU President James L. Gallogly addressed several topics related to student housing, athletic events and search committees to replace previously-departed executives.
Gallogly announced significant strides that the university is making toward the goal of doubling research within five years. He noted 496 grants awarded to the university since July 1 totaling $116 million. He also stated that the university is ahead of last year’s year-to-date fundraising gifts by over $13 million and will soon be announcing another transformational gift.
Gallogly proposed a revision to an existing Regents’ policy related to on-campus housing for freshmen and the establishment of needs-based housing scholarships for students who otherwise could not afford on-campus housing.
“We are committed to keeping the cost of an education at OU affordable for all of our students and to providing the best possible environment for students to be successful in earning their degree,” said Gallogly. “Research shows that students who live on campus have a higher success rate as compared to those who live off campus.
“The university is introducing freshmen housing scholarships to help students who have financial hardships that would otherwise prevent them from being able to afford on-campus housing,” Gallogly continued.
For those students who live in Cleveland and McClain counties and continue to live with their parents or guardians, this policy will grant an exception to the requirement that freshmen live on campus for one year. This policy also establishes a University Housing Review Committee which will oversee exception requests for freshmen students.
Gallogly also recommended the Board of Regents approval of a commercial space lease and a parking space license agreement within the Cross Development Housing Project that was entered into by the previous administration. He outlined that while the university is losing $7.1 million this year between parking leases and retail/food space leases in the Cross Development Housing Project, it was in the best interest of the university to approve these agreements for one year.
Additionally, Gallogly recommended approval of the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Bowl Improvement Project which incorporates improvements for the addition of handrails, aisle and seat widening, an additional 158 ADA and companion seats and other structural maintenance and repairs. The project also adds Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the stadium. These improvements have been funded by Athletics Department capital funds and through private funds.
Gallogly also recommended a pilot program for the sale and advertising of alcoholic beverages at athletic facilities and events. Gallogly stated that while the plan is not to have alcohol sales for this football season as there are only a few home games left, he proposed a pilot program for sales be in place for implementation during the 2018-19 men’s and women’s basketball seasons at the Lloyd Noble Center and for the 2018-19 baseball and softball seasons. The university will report outcomes of the pilot program to the Board of Regents in May and may seek approval of the Regents to continue the sale and advertising of alcoholic beverages at that time.
Also during the meeting, the academic calendar for 2019-2020 was presented. Search committee composition was ratified for the vice presidents of Advancement, Human Resources, Student Affairs, Operations, Research, Senior Associate Vice President / Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President for University Community positions.
The next OU Board of Regents meeting is set for Dec. 11-12, in Oklahoma City.
Established in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a doctoral degree-granting university and leader in research, healthcare, and academic activity impacting the state of Oklahoma and global community. The Norman campus enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City enrolls more than 3,000 students and the OU-Tulsa campus enrolls more than 1,000. Of the 4,385 incoming freshmen in 2018, the average ACT score is 26.2 and is one of the most diverse and inclusive groups of incoming students in university history. OU began a new focus in 2018 to double research efforts in the next five years, promote OU Medicine as the healthcare provider of choice in the State of Oklahoma, and grow the university in northeastern Oklahoma.