A man whom Oklahoma largely held in high esteem for 50 years, is finally ending his latest role in public office. David Boren is the former legislator, governor, US Senator, insider favorite for the '92 presidential nomination, and finally.... The 24 year president of Oklahoma University.
It was his years at OU which saw his harshest criticism. Boren was never the radical leftist while serving in elective office. But at the university he was extremely controversial for his social leftist agenda.
Former Rep. Paul Wesselhoft led a strong and successful effort to discredit Boren as essentially an art thief when Boren sought to keep valuable paintings which the university acquired. Some of that artwork was stolen from Jewish holocaust victims. Wesselhoft eventually won his battle and the whole Oklahoma legislature reprimanded Boren for keeping the stolen art.
Boren, along with his father (Lyle) and his son (Dan), were all congressmen from Oklahoma. Boren defeated Gov. David Hall in 1974, and went on to defeat Jim Inhofe in the governor's race. Hall then went to prison.
"As someone who has known David Boren for over 40 years, it was with mixed emotions that I learned of his decision to step down as president of the University of Oklahoma at the end of the academic year,” U.S. Rep. Tom Cole said.
“I consider President Boren to be the most consequential and influential Oklahoman since Robert S. Kerr. As a state legislator, governor, U.S. Senator and President of OU, he has contributed more than any other Oklahoman to the wellbeing of our country and the state of Oklahoma.”
"President Boren is an Oklahoma institution," said U.S. Sen. James Lankford.
"Throughout his five decades of public life, President Boren has honorably served the people of his state and nation. I join many Oklahomans today to express my gratitude to President Boren for his faithful service to the University of Oklahoma."
Boren will leave office at the end of the spring semester. No successor is yet named. OU Football legend,
Bob Stoops, resigned just weeks ago.