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Memorial set for Oklahoma higher education official Paul Risser

Paul Gillan Risser, former Oklahoma chancellor for higher education and chairman and chief operating officer of the University of Oklahoma Research Cabinet, will be remembered during a Monday memorial service.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: July 11, 2014 at 5:28 pm •  Published: July 12, 2014
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— Paul Gillan Risser, former Oklahoma chancellor for higher education and chairman and chief operating officer of the University of Oklahoma Research Cabinet, will be remembered during a memorial service at 2 p.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church.

Risser, 74, of Norman, died Thursday after a lengthy illness.

“The higher education community in Oklahoma is saddened today with the passing of former Chancellor Paul Risser,” Chancellor Glen Johnson said. “Dr. Risser was a visionary leader with impeccable academic credentials who always put the needs of our students first. He was also a strong advocate for the vital role that higher education plays in Oklahoma’s economic future. He was a colleague and a very dear friend, and he will be missed.”

OU President David Boren said, “Paul Risser has made a lasting contribution not only to the University of Oklahoma but also to higher education in our state. He has helped the people of Oklahoma better understand that excellence in higher education is absolutely essential if we are to improve the economic opportunities and quality of life in our state. As chairman of the University of Oklahoma’s Research cabinet, he has also helped diversify our state’s economy by increasing investment in our universities’ research base.”

State schools Superintendent Janet Barresi called Risser “a great Oklahoman and educator who worked tirelessly and selflessly to better the lives of Oklahoma’s young people.”

“Paul Risser proved to be a strong and visionary leader whose work improved college enrollment and graduation rates,” Barresi said. “He was an effective champion for all of education. Paul will be deeply missed, but he leaves behind a legacy that will be felt for years to come.”

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