V. Burns Hargis: "The purpose of the law is so that boards don’t hire themselves."

V. Burns Hargis and his supporters have been successful in changing Oklahoma law to facilitate expediency at Oklahoma State University. V. Burns Hargis was officially hired as the new president of OSU in December, but because he’d served as a regent at the school until he resigned to run for the office of president of the school, he had to wait a year from his board resignation date to begin serving as president.

New Oklahoma requirements, signed into law yesterday by Brad Henry shorten the wait time to six months, allowing Burns Hargis to start immediately, rather than waiting until July. Regarding the change in the law, Burns Hargis told the Oklahoman he thought the spirit of the law has been preserved:

…but I think it’s been made more practical. The purpose of the law is so that boards don’t hire themselves.

KTEN.com reports that one of Burns Hargis’ “first priorities will be increasing private investment in the school in Stillwater.”

The Oklahoman also reports that one of Hargis’ “first duties will be spending time at the state Capitol talking with legislators,

‘…Because the majority of the money that OSU has to operate on, as well as any other higher institution, is state money. Obviously what happens here at the Capitol the next three months or so is critical to next year’s budget.’

“He also wants to beef up private donations, he said, as the state’s share of the university’s budget has decreased in recent years.”

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