Gallogly ‘clear choice’ as University of Oklahoma’s 14th president

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by Kathryn McNutt Published: March 27, 2018 12:00 AM CDT’

David Boren, right, congratulates James “Jim” Gallogly for being named his successor as president of the University of Oklahoma during a formal announcement Monday. Gallogly will become OU’s 14th president July 1. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman]
NORMAN — James “Jim” Gallogly promised to bring energy and his vision of greatness to the University of Oklahoma following Monday’s announcement that he will be the institution’s 14th president.

“We aspire to greatness, nothing less. I will push very hard. I will ask a great deal,” said Gallogly, 65, a retired business executive and 1977 graduate of the OU College of Law.

“We know what that looks like on the football field, don’t we?” he asked the crowd that filled the Ballroom in Oklahoma Memorial Union. “We expect perfection, and we’re going to have that same standard in every single thing we do at this university.”

The OU Board of Regents appointed Gallogly “president-designate” immediately and OU president starting July 1 at a salary of $500,000 in a special meeting Monday morning.

Both the Gallogly College of Engineering and the $43 million, 70,000-square-foot Gallogly Hall, set to open in fall 2019, are named in recognition of his major financial gifts to OU.

“This is an extraordinary day. This hasn’t happened in a generation,” Chairman Clay Bennett said.

The last time OU named a president was 1994 when David Boren left the U.S. Senate to take the job. He will turn 77 in April and will retire June 30.

Bennett praised the leadership of David and Molly Boren and said, “The entire state of Oklahoma is grateful to you.”

The Board of Regents interviewed seven worthy candidates to succeed Boren, Bennett said.

“There was very quickly a clear choice,” he said, citing Gallogly’s track record as an executive and manager, love of OU, personal achievements, advanced degrees and regard for higher education, students and faculty.

“He has the right skill set for this point in time,” Bennett said. “He’s a gifted manager. He understands how to put pieces together to be successful.”

Boren said Gallogly is a great choice.

“He is a tremendous leader and he’s a collaborative leader. He’s a person that brings other people into the process,” Boren said. “I think he’ll be a great consensus builder.”

Gallogly told the crowd gathered at the first of three announcements on OU’s three campuses that his vision is to build on Boren’s foundation to take OU “from a great institution to absolutely the pinnacle of academic success.”

After 29 years at ConocoPhillips, Chevron Phillips and Phillips Petroleum Co., he left a successful career to go to LyondellBasell in Houston, a company with more than $20 billion debt. Gallogly said he led a team of 13,000 people to turn it around in record time.

“It is that level of energy that I will bring here and work with you,” he said.

OU officials noted he is the first CEO from a Fortune 500 company to lead the university.

“I’m very excited,” said J. Mike Stice, dean of the College of Earth and Energy. “I know Jim well. He’s going to do exactly what he said he’s going to do.”

Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, Gallogly received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in 1974, his law degree from OU in 1977 and completed the advanced executive program at Northwestern University in 1998.

Gallogly was a director on the board of DuPont, which merged with Dow Chemical in 2017, and currently serves as a director of Continental Resources.

He and his wife, Janet, have been married 43 years and have three daughters and four grandchildren.

“The first job I will have is to be a student again … to learn from all of you,” Gallogly told the crowd.

“I am so excited to have this chance. I can’t wait to get started on the job.”

Presidential search

Sept. 20, 2017: OU President David Boren announces he will retire June 30, making him the second-longest serving president in the university’s history after George Lynn Cross, 1943-1968.

Oc1. 1: OU Board of Regents accept Boren’s resignation and begin deliberation on finding a successor. Chairman Clay Bennett said, “Boren is leaving an incredible legacy at our university that will impact generations to come, and we expect this person to build on his accomplishments.”

Oct. 23: The regents name a 17-member search committee charged with reviewing candidates for the OU’s 14th president. David Rainbolt, executive chairman of BancFirst Corp., is the search committee chairman, and Gregg Garn, dean of OU’s College of Education, is the vice chairman.

March 5: The search committee presents its final report to the regents, recommending seven candidates to be interviewed. “Each and every one is highly qualified to become the next president of the university,” Bennett said.

March 10-11: OU regents interview the seven finalists for the president’s post.

March 26: The regents name James “Jim” Gallogly the 14th president of the University of Oklahoma.