ORU leaders looking ahead to new president
BY APRIL MARCISZEWSKI World Staff Writer
Friday, April 18, 2008
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Oral Roberts University leaders
are looking for a president who is
"passionate about God," understands education and finances, and
has vision, board Chairman Mart
Green said Thursday at the conclusion of the board's second meeting.
They also are looking for someone who fits in at ORU, Interim
President Ralph Fagin said.
"We want to embrace a larger
part of the Christian world," Fagin
said. "We don't want to lose the
Through collaborative efforts of ORU employees and
the board, the university is
moving forward on renovations and employee raises,
but leaders are leaving the vision and long-term goals up
to the next president, whom
they hope to have in place by
Former President Richard
Roberts resigned in November after weeks of publicity
stemming from a lawsuit that
accused him of misspending
ORU and Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association money.
He denied any wrongdoing.
ORU's new board of trustees expects to start advertising for the presidency this
summer, Green said.
The search consultant expects to see at least 100
names in the pool. The presidential search committee
eventually will whittle the
pool to three or four finalists
and forward one candidate to
the board for consideration.
Money: The university has
raised more than $2.1 million
in cash and pledges in a $25
million matching fundraising
campaign to improve the university and erase its debt,
Students have been calling
alumni, and in less than two
weeks, 169 people who had
never donated to ORU gave
nearly $15,000 total, and 196
people who had not given in
five years gave nearly $24,500
total, Fagin said.
Students and faculty members also have started their
own campaigns to help ORU,
Fagin and Green said.
ORU is trying to widen its
donor base to ensure economic sustainability and
avoid relying on just a few donors, Green said.
Student recruitment took a
hit during the lawsuit publicity last fall -- the biggest recruitment time of the year,
Fagin said. That is a concern
for ORU's bottom line, Green
"We think it's going to take
us three years to operate in
the black," Green said, partly
because of ORU's ongoing
separation from the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association.
The evangelistic association, which produces Roberts' television show, is expected to move off campus by
the end of May, Green said.
Roberts and his family
moved off campus a few
weeks ago. The family and
evangelistic association are
staying in Tulsa.
At the board meeting this
week, trustees decided to
spend $7 million to repair CityPlex Towers. The school
will use campaign donations
or a loan, and the repairs will
allow ORU to save as much as
$1 million a year on costs
such as heating and cooling,
Lawsuits: Besides the original lawsuit filed by three former professors, ORU also faces two student lawsuits and
one lawsuit filed by a former
In the latter cases, no dates
for settlement talks are set,
Fagin said, but Green said,
"We're willing to work with
people and do what's reasonable and fair."
A gag order prevents participants from talking about
the first lawsuit outside of
court. That suit prompted
ORU's former board of regents to get an independent
audit of ORU's finances.
The new board of trustees
will consider making public
the recommendations that
the audit made, Green said.
"As a board, our responsibility is to do the right thing
for ORU," he said.
The board would not release the audit if it would
harm ORU. The university is
working on all of the report's
recommendations, he said.
April Marciszewski 581-8475