Thursday, January 29, 1998

Regents vote to hire acclaimed research scientist



The OU Board of Regents were looking toward the future of science and technology Wednesday as they concluded their January meeting.

The regents voted to appoint Thomas S. Ray, a world-renowned research scientist, to a tenured professorship in the Department of Zoology.

"He will put OU on the cutting edge of research that used computerized life forms to study the process of evolution," Paul Bell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in a statement.

Ray created a highly publicized experiment called Network Tierra that may shed light on evolution. He has been recognized for his work in biology and other areas of sciences in several national magazines and newspapers, including Newsweek and The New York Times.

"Dr. Ray's addition to our faculty is a major development, returning one of our most distinguished scientists back to the United States from Japan," OU President David Boren said in a statement.

In other business, the regents approved measures Tuesday that will allow for the improvement of the east side of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The $1.2 million project will include public-facility renovations, new landscaping and sidewalks, and better lighting.

"The improvements will tie in nicely as we begin to work on the Barry Switzer Center," Boren said.

Among other approved were:

* A bid of $263,000 to Ford Audio-Video Systems, Inc. of Oklahoma for Catlett Music Center's audiovisual system.

* The completion of Phase I of the Oklahoma Memorial Union renovation and addition.

* Replacement of the gas distribution system at Parkview Apartments for $147,000.

* A budget of $2.1 million for phases one and two of the L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park improvements.

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