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A publication of the University of Oklahoma Foundation
Sooner Shorts
News and events from around OU.

President Harroz

President Harroz

On May 9, the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents unanimously voted to name Joseph Harroz Jr. the university’s 15th president. The former dean of OU Law and an OU alumnus, Harroz has held the office of interim president for the past year and marks nearly 25 years of service to the university community. To see more on Harrozclick here

OU campuses to reopen for fall 

                                                                                              Travis Caperton

OU President Joe Harroz has announced that all three OU campuses plan to reopen for classroom instruction and residential life in the fall. Harroz said campuses will adopt proactive safety measures like smaller class size, staggered class times and enabling the widespread use of masks and other PPE. Says Harroz, "I am confident that our OU family is up to this task, and I join each of you in eager anticipation of being together again, safely."       

OU launches new MBA program 

Beginning this fall, the Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business in Price College will offer a one-year Executive MBA and a six-month graduate certificate in aerospace and defense. A degree in business is not a prerequisite and participants will learn managerial and leadership functions of the A&D workforce, including critical-thinking skills and how to develop business strategies for Oklahoma’s second-largest industry. 

Food pantry offers online  shopping

Customers of the OU Food Pantry can now place orders online, announced Graduate Director Matt Marks. The new service will allow the pantry to continue serving the OU community during the coronavirus pandemic. Shopping forms are available at and an OU ID is required. Orders submitted by         5 p.m. on Mondays will be ready for pickup at Stubbeman Village, 1113 Elm St., on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

Interdisciplinary respirators

Collaboration between the OU Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture and the Hudson College of Public Health has resulted in a new 3-D-printed respirator that has the filtration performance of the N95, while providing the reusability, durability and custom fit not available in the N95 model worn by health-care professionals. Architecture’s Ken Marold designed the respirator and created prototypes using resources and support from the GCA Creating_Making Lab, while Evan Floyd in Public Health helped fine-tune the design for a custom fit. To see this and other open-source designs from OU, visit

Wendelboe named interim state epidemiologist

Dr. Aaron Wendelboe, OU associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the Hudson College of Public Health, has moved into the role as Interim State Epidemiologist to provide expertise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wendelboe is a former Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During his career with infectious disease epidemiology, he has investigated many disease outbreaks, from Ebola  to influenza to E.coli. For more on Wendelboe, click here.

Nichols triumphs

Joshua Gateley/OU Athletics

OU gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first OU women’s gymnast to capture the prestigious AAI Award. Often called the “Heisman Trophy” of women’s gymnastics, the AAI Award is voted on by NCAA women’s gymnastics college head coaches and is presented to the most outstanding senior female gymnast in the country.

The art of making masks

Staff and faculty from the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts have been busy making masks, not for an upcoming show, but for a real-life drama—preserving the state’s supply of personal protective equipment for frontline health care workers. Volunteers have made more than 1,000 face masks for OU Police Department officers and for patients visiting the OU Medical Center.  At right, OUPD Lt. John Bishop dons a mask as he prepares to go on his campus rounds.