The university is a part of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, which is composed of all higher education institutions supported wholly or in part by state appropriations. The Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education is the coordinating board for the system.
The university — as part of the public educational system of the state, established by legislative action and supported by annual legislative appropriations — places emphasis on sound scholarship, good citizenship, and the duties of the individual to the community and the commonwealth.
By constitutional enactment, the governance of the university is vested in the OU Board of Regents, a board consisting of seven members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the state Senate. Each member is appointed to serve for seven years, except when appointed to fill an unexpired term, and is subject to removal from office only as provided by law for the removal of officers not liable to impeachment.
The Oklahoma Regents and the university regents approve the requirements for admission and graduation, the degrees offered, and the fees and expenses. The boards reserve the right to change these requirements.
The president is charged with the educational and business management of the entire university. Upon recommendation of the faculties and by authority vested in him/her by the regents, the president confers all degrees.
The senior vice president and provost, Norman campus, and the senior vice president and provost, OU Health Sciences Center, are the chief administrative officers for the two campuses and provide academic and administrative leadership.
The registrar and senior associate vice president for Enrollment and Student Financial Services supervises admission and registration to the university and keeps the academic records of students enrolled on the Norman campus.
The vice president for student affairs and staff are the officials responsible for the nonacademic activities, programs and services of student life.
University College provides an advisory system for freshmen and assists students in choosing a field of study. The administrative functions are exercised by the dean of University College.
Each college, except University College, has its own faculty, consisting of the dean and the members of the faculty who teach courses in the college. The faculties set the requirements for graduation for the several schools and colleges and recommend to the president that he/she confer degrees upon those students who have completed these requirements. The dean of each college is its executive officer.
The general faculty of the University of Oklahoma Norman campus is composed of all faculty members with regular appointments. The Norman campus general faculty does not include faculty members with temporary appointments. The Norman campus Faculty Senate is the legislative group of the general faculty. It is composed of 50 members elected by the general faculty with senatorial seats apportioned according to the number of full-time faculty in the college. Faculty who are not members of a degree- recommending college are treated as a separate college for election. The Senate exercises the legislative powers of the faculty and has the power to initiate any legislation requiring approval by the OU Board of Regents. Subjects for review or legislation can be brought to the attention of the Senate by written communication from any member of the university community or any officially constituted agency.