The University of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents announced this afternoon that former President David Boren has resigned his professorship, a move the regents said concludes their Title IX process and “brings this matter to a close.”
The university made the announcement shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday via emailed statement:
Today, the OU regents announced that the Title IX issue between David Boren and the University of Oklahoma has been concluded. David Boren has chosen to resign, which terminates the Presidential Transition Agreement and relinquishes his affiliation with the University of Oklahoma.
The statement featured a quote from Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, chairwoman of the OU Board of Regents.
“We have worked very hard to bring to a close the Title IX issue between David Boren and the University of Oklahoma while respecting those individuals involved who desire to maintain their privacy,” Rainbolt-Forbes said. “David Boren no longer has any relationship going forward with the University as a result of his resignation. The decision to accept his resignation terminates the Presidential Transition Agreement and brings this matter to a close. The University will now focus its energy and resources on strategic initiatives important to our community.”
Rainbolt-Forbes acknowledged the pending investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Multi-County Grand Jury’s scheduled meeting next week.
“We are mindful of the OSBI investigation and will be watchful as to the determination of the grand jury,” she said.
Accuser: ‘This shouldn’t bring the matter to a close’
Jess Eddy, who has accused Boren of inappropriate touching, said he feels conflicted by OU’s announcement.
“I’m pleased that David Boren won’t be in a position to prey on students, but I’m concerned that the university has yet to take any action to reform the offices that should have prevented this from ever happening in the first place,” Eddy said. “This is an important step toward healing at the university, and the next steps include learning how this abuse was able to happen and how to prevent it from happening again. I look forward to an era of accountability at OU.”
But Eddy said he took issue with the statement about the matter being closed at OU.
“This shouldn’t bring the matter to a close,” he said. “There should be an investigation as to why this was able to happen for so long. Why weren’t there mechanisms that prevented it? There needs to be an investigation to answer those questions, and then there needs to be a thorough and thoughtful analysis about how we’re going to be able to prevent it from ever happening again.”
Eddy said he believes he, other victims and the public have a right to review the full report prepared by Jones Day, a law firm hired to investigate Boren and other university issues.
“The Jones Day is public property paid for by student fees and tax dollars,” Eddy said.
Earlier Wednesday, the OU Open Records Office denied a May 1 request from NonDoc seeking the Jones Day report.
“Your request seeks records related to a specific employee. The university will not undertake a search for records that would not be released even if they exist,” OU said in an email to NonDoc. “Any report that legal counsel, retained by the university, provides at the conclusion of any investigation of any employee would be confidential pursuant to 51 O.S. §§ 24A.5(1)(a), 24A.7(A), and 24A.12. Please feel free to contact this office if you would like to clarify your request or have any questions or concerns.”
On May 28, the university provided Eddy with an excerpt of the Jones Day report related to his allegations. The law firm described him as “generally credible,” and the excerpt revealed that his story was one of “six witnesses” who had told stories of encounters with Boren, according to The Oklahoman.