President Burns Hargis is retiring after 13 years at Oklahoma State University, according to a report from the O’Colly, the university’s student newspaper.
The O’Colly cited a source close to the president. The News Press has not independently confirmed the report.
Hargis had announced a press conference set for 11 a.m. Friday, inviting media to a “special announcement” at the McKnight Center during the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents meeting. The Regents are scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. at the McKnight Center. Hargis’ announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Hargis became the university’s 18th president on March 10, 2008. In his time, he ushered in a new era of expansion fundraising with his Branding Success Campaign, where he set a goal of raising $1 billion.
“I wanted the goal to be something that most people would say, ‘They’ll never do it. There’s no way they can do it,’” he told the News Press in 2018.
OSU raised $1.2 billion in five years.
In his time, Hargis also supported initiatives to save energy, and counts among his more celebrated endeavors as Pete’s Pet Posse, a pet therapy program near and dear to First Cowgirl Ann Hargis.
Friday’s news conference was not the only announcement Hargis made Thursday. The university president also posted to social media that the Student Affairs team would host a virtual Mental Health Q&A for Oct. 28. Students have been asking the university to address mental health issues, including three student deaths being investigated as suicides.