The Norman Transcript

May 29, 2013

University reassigns tornado victims

Transcript Staff
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma is moving some of the displaced victims of the May 20 tornado out of emergency housing on campus this week.

The purported reason for the relocation is that the university needs dormitory rooms for upcoming summer programs.

“We are working with OU to transition families into Red Cross shelters,” said Ken Garcia, Red Cross regional director of communications. “There is shelter still available at the Moore Community Center and at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Moore.”

Garcia said the Red Cross understands that the university wants the residents out by Friday.

After the tornado destroyed thousands of homes in Moore, the university opened its housing facilities to victims and out-of-town relief workers, housing more than 300 people in the days following the disaster.

University staff coordinating the emergency shelter said as of May 22, various facilities — including university apartments — were being used as emergency shelter.

“The transition is ongoing, and we’re processing it now. I don’t know about victims staying in the apartments, it’s just my understanding the university needs the dorms for summer activities,” Garcia said. “We’re here to make sure everyone has somewhere to go.”

Diploma replacement: University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced today that OU graduates who lost their diplomas in the recent tornado will be able to receive a free replacement diploma and diploma cover.

OU provided this same service to those who lost their OU diplomas after the tornado on May 3, 1999. 

Duplicate diplomas may be obtained by contacting the Office of Academic Records. The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Diplomas may be requested in person or by mail, fax, phone or email at the University of Oklahoma, Office of Academic Records, 1000 Asp Ave., Norman, OK 73019-4076. The phone number is 325-4147, fax 325-7047 and email

The following information should be included in requests: Full name, date(s) of degree completion, degree, mailing address and phone number. Officials expect seven to 10 days for processing of replacement diplomas.

Paid leave for OU employees: OU President Boren has authorized up to 15 days paid administrative leave for OU faculty and staff directly affected by the May 19 and 20 tornadoes, eliminating the need for employees to take vacation or sick leave to attend to personal needs.

“All OU employees who have suffered major losses during the recent tornadoes, including those who have suffered the loss of their homes, will be eligible for compassionate administrative leave for up to 15 days,” Boren said.

To help in recovery efforts, university departments may grant employees leave if the employee suffered a physical injury as a result of the disaster; a close relative or household member of the employee suffered a physical injury or died; or the home of the employee or the employee’s relative was damaged or destroyed.

Any OU employee who wishes to apply for the administrative leave should complete an online form at, then return it to their direct supervisor for approvals and processing.

Questions about this administrative leave should be directed to the employee’s local campus payroll office.