By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Hayes credits President Boren's energy and vision for a major transformation of the campus and the faculty since he arrived 11 years ago.
Boren's no stranger to Dallas; his daughter attended Hockaday. One of the most powerful politicians in Oklahoma history, Boren graduated from Yale, was a Rhodes Scholar and came back to OU. He and his wife, Molly, both hold law degrees from OU law school. When he became the 13th president of OU, Boren and his wife began a dramatic hands-on transfiguration of the campus, starting with a $17 million renovation of the student center.
Molly Boren took on the beautification of the campus, renovating the president's residence and adding flower beds, trees, fountains, sculptures and benches. Some Okies complained. Why were they wasting money on scenery? But the result: OU's Norman campus is definitely prettier than the sprawling Texas A&M.
The bottom line is academics, and OU touts a dramatic increase in the quality of its faculty. Since Boren arrived, the number of endowed chairs has tripled from 100 to 370. (Boren teaches one class a semester.) In addition, the university has 150 study-abroad programs in 50 countries, which students can attend while paying OU tuition. The university's foundation recently set a goal of increasing the school's endowment from $850 million to more than $1 billion by the end of the decade.
Boren must have figured it out: Dallas is where the big money is.