by OCPA President Jonathan SmallThe University of Oklahoma regents have selected James Gallogly as the next OU president. It’s a terrific hire.
“Jim Gallogly is a world-class, in-demand, transformative leader,” said Regents Chairman Clay Bennett.Bennett notes Gallogly “is a builder known for having strategic vision, for managing large and complex organizations, and for mentoring and inspiring great teams to achieve results.” Given that OU’s entire operation encompasses crucial assets, activities, and investments necessary to assist in empowering students for the future, serving Oklahomans, and realizing opportunities for innovation, one couldn’t agree more with what Bennett noted to Newsok.com: “He has the right skill set for this point in time.” The Tulsa World said Gallogly has “an atypical resume for a university president. He is neither an academic nor a politician. We find that intriguing and refreshing.” Gallogly aims for OU to be elite. For example, one of his goals “is to have the College of Engineering be on a par with the Purdues of the world, the MITs.” That makes sense for Oklahoma, which will continue to need STEM graduates. Gallogly has spent a career working with (and hiring) them. The OU regents and the selection committee should be commended for their work and innovation in pursuing a candidate who has all the tools to focus, implement, and guide efforts that position Oklahoma to address workforce needs, especially the need for more STEM-skilled employees.
Not only has Gallogly demonstrated the resume necessary for a proper academic focus, he has also demonstrated a personal financial commitment to significant private philanthropic efforts to advance education. Gallogly is so dedicated to helping OU succeed that he announced his resignation from the board of directors of Continental Resources so he can focus his time and energy on OU. This is a testament to how serious he takes his new role. Often, university presidents like to leverage their positions for lucrative positions on boards.Gallogly will also bring his success helping complex organizations excellently manage resources. “I want to say to our legislature and our governor, we will be excellent stewards,” Gallogly says. “We will not have waste on campus.” Reflecting on his emphasis on performance and results, Newsok.com reported Gallogly encouraged: “We aspire to greatness, nothing less. I will push very hard. I will ask a great deal. … We know what that looks like on the football field, don’t we? … We expect perfection, and we’re going to have that same standard in every single thing we do at this university.”
The regents have hired a forward-thinking chief executive who aims for academic excellence. “We should be one of the greatest institutions in the world,” he says.Gallogly is a terrific hire indeed.
Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (www.ocpathink.org).