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March 28, 2013

Regents appoint new leaders

NORMAN — Routine business at the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents meeting Wednesday was marked by both celebration and solemnity, as the regents appointed new board leaders, approved renovations to major campus facilities and awarded posthumous degrees.

Board chair Dr. Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes concluded her term at Wednesday’s meeting and was honored with small gifts commemorating her service to the regents.

“I want to thank our chair for her outstanding leadership during a number of very important decisions. She has given thoughtful input and really organized the board in a way that maximizes its capacity,” OU President David Boren said.

Richard R. Dunning, of Oklahoma City, was elected as the succeeding chairman of the Board of Regents, with Tom Clark, of Tulsa, as vice chairman and Dr. Chris Purcell as secretary, continuing her tenure of more than 20 years.

Additionally, the regents passed a resolution honoring OU men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger for continued excellence in serving the university’s team.

“I think that all of us realize how fortunate we are that Lon Kruger is with us. He and his wife have spent so much time with the team and formed them into a family, and we can see the results,” Boren said. “We did not hide from him what a challenge he faced when he came to the university, and he turned the team around both athletically and academically.”

Renovation and ongoing construction measures included increasing the maximum price agreement for the Radar Innovations Laboratory (last approved in June 2012) to $15.8 million, increasing the overall project budget by $800,000 to accommodate premium equipment.

Bizzell Memorial Library will receive major improvements, beginning with the regents’ approval of selecting an architectural firm to design a master plan Wednesday.

In keeping with the vision of Richard Luce, the new dean of libraries, the renovations will include the creation of classroom and collaborative work spaces within the building.

Posthumous Bachelors of Science were awarded to Kristen Berlin, Karla Ude and Thomas Whittaker. Whittaker and Berlin died during spring break.

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