Oral Roberts University Board Chair Rob Hoskins has announced that ORU President William M. Wilson has accepted a contract extension from the Board through the summer of 2021. This new five-year agreement comes as ORU begins it 50th year next week.
"We did a thorough review of Dr. Wilson's service over the past two years and have found it to be exemplary. He has built a strong pathway to the future that we want to see him carry through," said Hoskins. "As a Board, we are excited about the possibilities with the university under Dr. Wilson's care. We know that we are on strong footing to reach 'the uttermost bounds of the Earth.'"
Wilson came to the presidency from serving on the Board of Trustees as vice-chair for five years. The original contract that established Wilson as president was for three years. He has one year remaining in this present contract before serving under the new five-year agreement. This new five-year contract also has an option to extend his service past 2021.
On Wilson's first day in office, he established the Presidential Task Force on the Globalization of ORU. There has been great success already from this effort. Last fall, the university had students from all 50 states and 84 countries. New global degree programs that were added included English Language Teaching in the Global Classroom; Global Ministry and the Marketplace; Global Studies with a concentration in Latin America, the Middle East or Asia; and Social Justice. The university also added a new minor in Mandarin Chinese.
Under Wilson's tenure, the university has seen consistent enrollment growth each year, as well as finishing the last two fiscal years in the black.
A major accomplishment for Wilson's administration has been the creation of a new five-year adaptive plan that was adopted by the Board of Trustees this spring. This plan lays the groundwork for the future of the university and includes eight major goals, with corresponding key performance indicators.
A $50 million 50th Anniversary Campaign is currently underway at the institution. These monies are being raised to thrust the globalization effort forward, strengthen the Quest Whole Person Scholarship, and support an enhanced physical campus. More than $40 million has already been committed toward the goal.
There are three needed enhancements to the campus that are a part of the 50th Anniversary Campaign. A two-to three-story, apartment-style residence will be constructed on campus to house 100 upperclassmen. Amenities will include private baths, shared living/dining/kitchen, laundry facilities, high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi.
ORU will build its first-ever track and field facility and replace the existing tennis courts with a Tennis Complex that features state-of-the-art surfaces, fences and lighting.
A new Global Learning Center is also a part of this initiative and renovation is well underway. This facility, which is scheduled for completion in 2016, will include classrooms equipped with touch technology, interactive smart boards and added visual tools that will connect the Tulsa campus to the world. The facility will also include a state-of-the-art virtual and augmented reality space along with a 700-seat performance area.
Wilson and his wife, ORU's first lady, Lisa, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They have one daughter, Sara, who serves with her husband, Shaun, at East Texas Baptist University. They have three children. The Wilsons' son, Ashley, is currently pastoring a church in Lexington, Kentucky, along with his wife, Jamie, and their three children.
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