Skip Navigation

Welcome, President Harroz

Welcome, President Harroz

“This is more than a promotion or a dream job to me.”
–President Harroz

President Harroz formal portrait

On May 9, 2020, the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents unanimously voted to name Joseph Harroz Jr. the university’s 15th president, effective immediately. Read the full announcement here.

Harroz, formerly the dean of the OU College of Law, was named OU’s interim president in May 2019. Under Harroz’s leadership over the past 12 months, OU has remained focused on its strategic priorities, which include expanding research, enhancing diversity and inclusion, and creating a strategic plan for the future of OU.

President Harroz in front of a camera at the Regent's meeting
President Harroz greets individuals at a distance
President Harroz pictured with family members

In a video message, President Harroz addressed the OU family on his first official day in office.

“As President, I pledge to work tirelessly with you – our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends – to be worthy of our extraordinary legacy. Together, we can realize the full potential of our Purpose to change the lives of each next generation of students and to impact the world through what we discover and create.” –President Harroz


What People are Saying

“Joe Harroz is an exceptional leader. His deep devotion to OU and compelling vision for its future are precisely what the university needs. There’s no one better suited to lead OU.”

- Gary Pierson, chair of the OU Board of Regents





Harroz and Norris at MLK march

“During the current unprecedented situation, I am thankful the board has voted to name Joe Harroz our president. He has been an advocate for staff since stepping into the role of interim president last year. I appreciate that he has regularly engaged in open and honest conversations with Staff Senate. While we know there are still difficult times ahead, I believe President Harroz will lead with honesty, empathy and input from staff and other constituencies.”

- OU Staff Senate Chair Sarah Connelly


Pierson speaks at regents meeting

“Students feel visible after meeting President Harroz. Over the past two semesters, he has immersed himself within multiple perspectives of student life by attending campus events, conversing with students, and most importantly, listening to them. He is an advocate, ally and role model, and he possesses what I believe to be some of the most important leadership attributes: compassion, connectivity and drive – all of which I believe are reflected in his work this past year.”

- Student Government Association President Justin Norris


Harroz and Connely on stage with microphones

Welcome, President Harroz!

During his first week, the OU family on all three campuses celebrated President Harroz in a style reflective of our new normal. In Norman, the community expressed their well wishes – from a distance – at a Welcome Wave in front of Boyd House.

President Harroz greets individuals from their cars at welcome wave event
Individual in car holds up "Boomer Sooner!" sign

Boomer Zoomer! OU-Tulsa faculty and staff hosted a virtual congratulations for President Harroz on Zoom.

Grid of people holding up congradulatory signs and hand gestures in Zoom call

President Harroz visited the OU Health Sciences Center, where he met with frontline workers and helped distribute lunches to patients, staff, faculty and students.

Harroz, wearing PPE, hands out lunches
Harroz, wearing PPE, hands out lunches

Article Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2020