Guest – David Boren

Rhodes Scholar David Boren, currently President of the University of Oklahoma, was the longest-serving chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.

Throughout his three-decade career in elective politics as Governor and three-term U.S. Senator, Boren was known as a bipartisan reformer, championing efforts to make government more accountable to the American people. During his tenure in Washington, Boren crusaded for congressional campaign finance reform and stronger congressional oversight of secret intelligence programs. He sponsored legislation to declassify thousands of documents pertaining to the history of the CIA. Boren chaired the special 1992–93 Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, which proposed making Congress more efficient and responsive by streamlining congressional bureaucracy, reducing staff sizes, and reforming procedures to end legislative gridlock. He authored the National Security Education Act in 1992 to provide scholarships for studying abroad and learning additional languages. Since the program’s inception, more than 3,500 students have been given the opportunity to study abroad as Boren Scholars. The National Security Education Program is the largest international studies program created since adoption of the Fulbright scholarships.

A 1963 graduate of Yale University, Boren received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1968. Prior to becoming President of the University of Oklahoma, he served for ten years as a Trustee of Yale. When Boren left the U.S. Senate in 1994 to become President of the University of Oklahoma, he had an approval rating of 9l percent after being reelected with 83 percent of the vote in 1990, the highest percentage in the nation in a U.S. Senate contest in that election year.

Under Boren’s leadership, the University of Oklahoma has emerged as a pacesetter in American public higher education, ranking first in the nation among public universities in the number of National Merit Scholars per capita. Total endowment has grown five-fold to more than $1 billion during the thirteen years of his presidency. A teacher at heart, Boren is in the classroom every semester leading a first-year course in political science.