The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents met today to consider the transition of the university’s advancement operations to the OU Foundation, the appointment of new deans for OU Libraries and the College of Allied Health, and other items.
During the meeting, held on the OU Health Sciences Center campus, the Regents approved the transition of University Advancement services to the OU Foundation – the independent, not-for-profit organization that encourages and supports charitable giving for the benefit of OU. The transition retroactively went into effect March 1 with the board’s approval.
With this transition, the OU Foundation will adopt a best practice model, mirroring peer institutions that house successful fundraising organizations. The move fully integrates the fundraising organization, leading to a strategic and holistic alignment of fundraising goals with university priorities.
“Our university’s bold ambition to become one of the nation’s great public research universities requires a best-in-class fundraising operation to help propel us to new heights,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “Drawing upon the loyalty and commitment of our alumni and friends, this transition will provide the structure and vision we need to reach our highest aspirations.”
The realignment also transfers the employment of university employees in advancement roles to the OU Foundation, which will strengthen the fundraising enterprise. In his remarks, Harroz thanked OU Foundation President Guy Patton, who was asked to manage University Advancement in a consulting role. Helping Patton lead advancement priorities will be Amy Noah, who will join the OU Foundation on April 1 as vice president and chief advancement officer. Noah spent over 18 years in development at Purdue University, having served as vice president for development at the Purdue Research Foundation from 2013 to 2020.
“We are excited about the opportunity to create a comprehensive fundraising organization at the OU Foundation in support of the critical strategic funding needs of the university,” Patton said. “Our success will in large part be a function of the talented professionals dedicated to those efforts, which is why we are so excited to have Amy Noah join our team. Amy brings a wealth of professional experience, including successfully leading fundraising at an outstanding public university.”
Through the administrative realignment and drawing from OU Foundation funding sources, there will be a 30-35% increase in funding that will be invested primarily in significantly increasing the number of frontline fundraisers and scaling the organizational infrastructure commensurately. Harroz said the new organizational structure will unify the fundraising focus, better serving and supporting the university’s fundamental mission.
“This transition will enable us to more intentionally channel our resources toward the fulfillment of our strategic plan,” Harroz said.
Also during the meeting, the Regents approved the appointment of Denise Stephens as dean of OU Libraries and Jane Endsley Wilson as dean of the OU College of Allied Health. Stephens, an OU alumna and previous OU Libraries employee, will return to her alma mater from Washington University in St. Louis, where she serves as vice provost and university librarian. Wilson has spent the last 25 years of her career at the OU Health Sciences Center in various teaching and administrative roles, most recently as associate dean for student affairs and associate professor in the OU College of Pharmacy.
“Denise Stephens and Jane Wilson are both respected leaders in their fields who value the importance of collaboration to achieve organizational progress,” Harroz said. “We have no doubt in these new roles, they will inspire our students, faculty and staff to work together in our collective pursuit of excellence at OU.”
The board will next meet in May.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit www.ou.edu.