March 26, 2018
Dear OU President-Designate Gallogly,
Congratulations on being named the 14th president of the University of Oklahoma. We look forward to welcoming you to campus and to hearing about your plans for OU’s future.
We also write with a deep sense of concern at this critical moment of transition for the university. Certainly, you are aware that many OU students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni and friends opposed the lack of transparency during the presidential search process. As you know, the OU Board of Regents chose to ignore our respectful requests to have the chance to interact with one or more finalists in the concluding stage of the presidential selection process. Now that you have been appointed by the Board and your tenure as president is soon to begin, we very much hope you will take steps to address the concerns about non-transparency and exclusivity shared by much of the university community.
As noted in our previous open letter to the OU Board of Regents, we believe that selecting a president of a public university in secrecy is detrimental to a sense of university community, negatively affects campus morale, undermines presidential potential and, ultimately, does not represent who we are and what we do as a public institution of higher education. At this point, campus stakeholders want to ensure we preserve the positive campus environment we have all worked to cultivate. Accordingly, we would like to engage with you to learn more about your experience, perspectives, vision, values and plans.
We call on you to schedule in the near term one or more campus forums in which you will share with us, the members of the OU community that you will lead and serve, responses to the following questions:
1. How have your background and experience prepared you to serve as president of the University of Oklahoma? What are the primary strengths you bring to the position? To what extent will your experience as an executive and CEO of major oil and petrochemical companies influence your decisions at OU? How do you envision transferring your skills as a corporate executive to being an effective leader of a public university?
2. What do you see as the primary strengths of the university? What do you believe are the major challenges confronted by OU, and by higher education generally? How do you plan to address the budgetary challenges we face at OU today? How might you interact with the Oklahoma legislature and the broader public to enhance support for the university?
3. How will you support students at OU – academically, financially and otherwise? What kind of education do you think students need today? To what extent should liberal arts education and exposure to the arts and humanities be part of the undergraduate experience?
4. We consider shared governance structures paramount in institutions of higher learning. How would you support shared governance at OU? Moreover, how would you support academic freedom and what are your perspectives about free speech at public institutions?
5. Diversity, multiculturalism, inclusion and equity also are critical to the OU community. How might you pursue these objectives on all three OU campuses?
6. How might you support the OU faculty and the research mission of the university?
7. You have noted in previous public presentations that you believe in integrity and ethics. How would you promote integrity and ethical action at the University of Oklahoma?
Congratulations once again on being named president of the University of Oklahoma. We look forward to hearing from you and working together to build a trustful and inclusive environment that will ensure, extend and enhance OU’s excellence today, tomorrow and for generations to come.