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7/14/97 Bob Agee to retire in ’98 from Oklahoma Baptist Univ.

SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP)–Bob R. Agee, president of Oklahoma Baptist University since Sept. 1, 1982, has announced to the board of trustees his plans to retire on Sept. 1, 1998.
The trustees, meeting July 11, named a seven-member presidential search committee, with a target date of bringing a recommendation by the July 1998 trustee meeting.
Following his retirement as president, Agee will assume the role of president emeritus. Although the title will carry no administrative authority, he will assist the university with 10 specific tasks through the year 2000, primarily assisting with a smooth transition to new leadership and with fund-raising efforts related to the current “Foundation for the Future” campaign.
“This decision has not come easily,” Agee told the trustees. “I am convinced it is better to make the transition of leadership when the institution is in a position of significant strength in every area of its life rather than wait until there is a crisis or a period of decline.”
Agee, who has recently gone through a second bout with leukemia and recovery from chemotherapy treatments, received an encouraging report in June of a significant reduction of cancer cells in the bone marrow and blood counts returning toward normal ranges. Doctors expect the leukemia will be back in remission by the end of the summer.
Nevertheless, Agee said the treatment and recovery process “caused me to take a long hard look at my life and my work and contemplate some serious questions regarding the best ways to use my energies and time.” He said he concluded he needed to direct his energy toward making his family a higher priority and helping OBU make a smooth transition of leadership. He and his wife, Nelle, have two grown daughters and three granddaughters.
OBU enrollment during Agee’s 15-year tenure has climbed from 1,427 in 1981 to 2,361 in the fall of 1996, an increase of more than 70 percent. The university also has constructed 11 new buildings and renovated 12 buildings, and its endowment has grown from $11 million in 1982 to more than $45 million today. The seven members of the presidential search committee are Jerry Fielder and Nadine McPherson, both of Oklahoma City; Ray Finch and Michael Gabbert, both of Tulsa; Sam Hammons of Edmond; James Robinson of Clinton; and Skip Robinson of Durant. The committee elected Hammons as chairman. Ex officio members of the committee will be Anthony Jordan, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma; Max Brattin, chairman of the faculty council; Elizabeth Howell Dillard, president of OBU’s alumni association; and Sarah Sitzes, president of the Student Government Association.