During the meeting, the Regents approved a new admissions policy for the OU College of Law. The new policy will allow qualifying undergraduate students from an accredited four-year Oklahoma college or university, as well as any accredited four-year college or university eligible for funding under part F of the Higher Education Act, to begin the juris doctorate program before completing their undergraduate degree. Participating students will be enrolled full time at the College of Law during their final year as an undergraduate student and will simultaneously earn credit for both their bachelor’s degree and their juris doctorate during that year.
“This modification to OU Law admissions will allow qualifying students to earn both an undergraduate degree and a juris doctorate in six years instead of seven,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “We anticipate that this change will help incentivize some of our state’s brightest undergraduates to remain in Oklahoma for law school and ultimately, for their legal careers.”
Also during the meeting, the board approved several program modifications that will directly support the state’s critical need for more nurses and doctors. Modifications include the reduction of prerequisite hours to gain admission to the bachelor of science in nursing program, the addition of a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specialization option and the creation of a three-year doctor of medicine pathway.
Harroz noted that additional funds from the state Legislature earmarked for nursing and physician programs are already making an impact, and these proposed program modifications will help OU build upon this forward momentum.
“Without question, the chronic shortage of medical professionals in our state is an issue that impacts all of us,” Harroz said. “We are hopeful that these proposed program modifications, combined with the added investment from our legislative partners, will help ensure Oklahomans have access to quality health care today and in the years to come.”
The proposed changes to OU Law admissions and the program modifications will now go before the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for final approval.
The Board of Regents also approved the appointment of Christine Taylor as institutional equity officer, equal opportunity officer and Title IX coordinator, and retired Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland as executive director of the Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense Innovation Institute.
With nearly 20 years of experience in higher education, Taylor will join OU on Dec. 6 from Wichita State University, where she serves as institutional equity and compliance director. At WSU, she ensures the institution’s compliance with laws and regulations regarding equal opportunity, civil rights, affirmative action, sexual harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct.
At OU, Taylor will lead the Institutional Equity Office, overseeing the university’s affirmative action and equal opportunity compliance efforts, as well as investigating complaints of sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment.
Kirkland brings to OU 34 years of experience in the Air Force, including 19 years serving in executive leadership positions. Most recently, he served as the commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center, Air Force Material Command, headquartered at Tinker Air Force Base.
As director of the Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense Innovation Institute at OU, Kirkland will help the university establish connections with strategic partners and entities in the aerospace, defense and global security sectors.
“We are incredibly fortunate to welcome Christine Taylor and Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland to OU,” Harroz said. “Their expertise will be instrumental in ensuring we remain focused on our strategic goals to make OU a place where both people and discovery can thrive.”
The Regents also approved items related to renovations or expansions to a number of campus facilities, including the National Weather Center and Max Westheimer Airport; and the replacement of the playing field at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
The board is set to next meet in March 2022.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit www.ou.edu.