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Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - OU President Gary D. Russi announces retirement

Oakland University President Gary D. Russi today announced his retirement effective August 1, 2013. The Board of Trustees will appoint Associate Vice President for Outreach Betty J. Youngblood, Ph.D., interim president at its next formal session. Russi will work together with Youngblood to ensure a smooth transition as a national search for a new president begins.

"Dr. Russi has been a transformational leader for Oakland University. He has made a lasting mark on the university and helped the institution reach new benchmarks for enrollment, research, collaboration and academic opportunities. Dr. Russi looks forward to enjoying the next chapter of his life." said Michael Kramer, chair of the Oakland University Board of Trustees.

"Dr. Russi has guided Oakland University through exciting times and has championed our school's distinctiveness and dedication to students. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Russi for his two decades of dedicated service to Oakland University. Clearly, he leaves a lasting legacy and will be missed."

During Russi's tenure, the University has experienced tremendous growth. The student population has grown to nearly 20,000, and academic credentials of incoming first-year students have improved significantly. More than 65 new academic degree programs have been added since 1995, and full-time faculty has grown to more than 500.

During this time, Oakland University has invested – often with state support – more than $400 million to enrich environments for teaching, research, learning and living.

Capital improvements included a $43 million Science and Engineering Building, a $37 million Recreation and Athletics Center, the $17.5 million R. Hugh and Nancy Elliott Hall of Business and Information Technology, the $32 million Carlotta and Dennis Pawley Hall, $21 million new student apartments, and construction of a $2.2 million student activities center.

In addition, the university has built a $64 million Human Health Building that opened in 2012 and launched the first new allopathic medical school in the state in 47 years – the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Slated to open in fall of 2014, are a new $75-million engineering center, a $30-million student housing complex and, with philanthropic funds, the new campus landmark, the Elliott Tower.

"It has been my honor and pleasure to serve this tremendous university," Russi said.

"I extend my appreciation to the faculty, staff, alumni, friends, donors and the entire Oakland University. The significant growth of Oakland University is a testament to the hard work of the extremely high quality faculty and staff with whom I have had the privilege of working."

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.