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A Message from President Harroz: Financial Operations Update

October 16, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this letter finds you well. I write with an update on our continued work to ensure efficient and effective administration of our university’s financial operations. Two years ago, Ken Rowe stepped up from his VP role over administration and finance at the OU Health Sciences Center to also lead a transition in our financial affairs for the Norman campus. In this combined role, Ken led OU’s tremendous cost-saving work, helping the Norman campus save nearly $80 million since the fall of 2018. He has also led the streamlining and enhancement of our financial and administrative information technology systems.

As we have been successful in this financial transition, Ken has advised me that it would be best for the university if he devotes his full-time professional effort to Oklahoma City, solely as Vice President of Administration and Finance for the Health Sciences Center campus. I have accepted his recommendation, which, among other essential leadership responsibilities, includes the critical responsibility and opportunity of continued integration of our clinical operations with our hospital partner.

With this transition, we will immediately launch a national search for a university-wide Chief Financial Officer. Stewart Berkinshaw has agreed to act as the lead for all finance, accounting, and budget matters for the Norman campus throughout the search. Stewart currently serves as the Norman campus Associate Vice President and Chief Budget Officer. He has previously held the roles of Director of Budget and Financial Planning, and Associate Provost and Director of Academic Financial Operations. He has extensive financial management experience, and he has played a critical role in stabilizing our financial position. Of course, Ken will provide assistance to Stewart to ensure a smooth transition.

We are thankful to continue to have Ken in a leadership role at the Health Sciences Center, and we are indebted to him for his service. Please join me in thanking Ken and wishing him well, and please also extend your encouragement to Stewart as he takes on this additional administrative responsibility.

Live On, University,

Joseph Harroz, Jr.