Former University of Oklahoma President David Boren said Thursday that he initiated the termination of his contract with the school he led for 24 years because he felt a sexual misconduct probe was damaging the institution.
In his first public statement on the accusations, Boren said he is innocent and was tempted to continue fighting to protect his reputation.
“Last year, I came under a personal attack that was so vicious and relentless that it defied my comprehension,” Boren said in a statement released by his lawyer. “As I wrote to the Regents, I felt that it was best to resolve this matter rather than continue a battle which was damaging lives and the University itself.”
A former OU student alleges Boren touched and kissed him inappropriately on several occasions almost a decade ago when the man worked as a teaching aide to the former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator.
The OU Regents announced Wednesday that Boren terminated his contract , which ended the university’s probe.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation also is looking into the allegations, and a former U.S. attorney has been appointed as a special counsel to oversee a multicounty grand jury to assist state investigators
Boren’s transition agreement with the university called for him to retain the title of president emeritus and gave him the option of continuing to teach a class in the political science department. It also provided him with 400 square feet of office space in the student union, $40,000 for office furnishings, football tickets, club membership, parking privileges and an assistant with a salary of up to $65,000, among other things.