ORU president Rutland to step down within two years
BY BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
9/27/11 at 8:51 AM
Oral Roberts University President Mark Rutland announced to students, faculty and staff Monday morning that he will step down within two years.
"After more than 30 years leading organizations, I feel it will be time in the next year or two to transition from day-to-day executive leadership into a new phase in my career," said Rutland, 63.
"I am eager to work with the board to make this process as effective as possible for the long-term benefit of the university."
The ORU Board of Trustees announced it has commissioned its leadership committee to begin working on a plan to find a new president.
"One responsibility of the governing board of a university is to ensure stability through leadership transitions," said Mart Green, board chairman. "The timeline for the succession plan will be put in place over the coming months.
"We are looking forward to a long-standing relationship with Dr. Rutland. He brings tremendous value and leadership to the university, something we expect will continue for years to come," Green said.
Rutland succeeded Richard Roberts as ORU president in 2009. He was the first ORU president not in the Roberts family, and was the choice of the late ORU founder Oral Roberts for the position.
Before coming to Tulsa, Rutland was the president of Southeastern University, an Assemblies of God college in Lakeland, Fla., which he had brought from a small, dying Bible college to a thriving university in one decade. Before that, he led a Florida megachurch out of the brink of bankruptcy.
During Rutland's two years at ORU, largely through gifts from the Mart Green family, the university eliminated $55 million in long-term debt, completed $40 million in campus renovations and secured more than $10 million in funding for the Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center, which will break ground in January 2012.
The university also experienced enrollment growth and an 80 percent freshman retention rate, and completed the 2011 fiscal year with a positive cash flow.
Original Print Headline: ORU president to step down within 2 years
Bill Sherman 918-581-8398
Mark Rutland: He was named head of Oral Roberts University in 2009, and was its first president outside the Roberts family.