ARDMORE — Officials with the Oklahoma State University and A&M Colleges system plan to review the system's policies in the hopes of preventing a situation such as the one that has placed Penn State University in the national spotlight in recent weeks.
The committee will review policies at each institution and on the systemwide level to make sure those policies would prevent a situation such as the Penn State child sex abuse scandal from taking place at any schools.
The board convened a task force to review policies and procedures at each of the system's five institutions — Connors State College, Langston University, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Oklahoma State University. Regent Tucker Link will lead the committee, which will include members of the board and representatives from each campus.
During a meeting Friday, newly installed board Chairman Andy Lester called for the review, saying the board has a duty to maintain oversight of the colleges and universities that fall under the board's authority.
“We have all been reminded of the importance of these duties as we watched the recent events unfold at Penn State University,” Lester said in a statement. “Those tragic and unspeakable events serve as a lucid reminder of how important it is to work cooperatively with our institutions to make certain what happened there does not happen at any of our institutions.”
In other business ...
The board approved OSU officials' bid to hire firms to assist with a number of campus construction projects. The board selected Tulsa-based KSQ Architects to design a new 800- to 900-bed residence hall that would be located on the northwest side of campus.
The building will replace Kerr-Drummond Hall, a 46-year-old dormitory that is scheduled for demolition. University officials have said they don't plan to tear down Kerr-Drummond until 2015 or later to allow time for the construction of the new dormitory.
The board also named Oklahoma City-based Studio Architecture as engineering consultant and Tulsa-based Crossland Construction as the construction manager for a new track facility.
The building would be a part of the university's long-delayed Athletic Village, a group of proposed athletic facilities that would be located just north of Boone Pickens Stadium.
The university has begun construction on the Sherman Smith Training Center, an indoor practice facility that will be a large piece of the village.
University officials in November 2005 announced plans to move forward with more than $200 million in projects. Those proposed projects included new facilities for track, tennis, soccer and other sports.
Also at Friday's meeting, the board elected Lester to replace Regent Jay Helm as chairman of the board, and Link to serve as vice chairman.