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Oral Roberts University accepts Green proposal

By Gary Jacobson

January 15, 2008 at 2:01am

It’s a new beginning for Oral Roberts University.

Monday, the school’s board of regents accepted a donation of $62 million from businessman Mart Green and his family, and agreed in principle to make sweeping changes in how the Tulsa university is run.

“We are humbled and thankful for the board’s trust in this plan and their faith in us,” Green said in a statement.

Green’s plan replaces the current unwieldy board of business and spiritual regents with a new board of trustees that would initially have 13 members.

Green will be the new chairman. Oral Roberts will remain chancellor and will be named a trustee for life. The other proposed new trustees are listed on the university’s Web site. The number of trustees could eventually grow to 22.

Current board chairman George Pearsons said in a statement that details of the proposal are being worked out. The new governance structure could begin next month.

Late last year, president Richard Roberts, son of the university’s namesake, resigned after allegations of mismanagement.

In November, Green announced a gift of $8 million and promised $62 million more if significant changes were made. The school is more than $50 million in debt.

Since then, televangelists Benny Hinn, Jesse Duplantis, Creflo Dollar and I.V. Hilliard resigned as regents. Hinn and Dollar are being investigated by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley.

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