NORMAN, Oklahoma - The University of Oklahoma President David Boren is stepping down at the end of the upcoming Spring semester.

Boren announced his decision to retire at a press conference, Wednesday afternoon, inside Holmberg Hall. His retirement will become official on June 30, 2018, but remains contingent on the naming of a suitable successor. If a successor has not been named, Boren said he will stay on as President until one is found.

Boren has served as OU's president since 1994. Before that, the lifelong Democrat served as a U.S. Senator for Oklahoma from 1979 to 1994, as the 21st Governor of Oklahoma from 1975 to 1979 and as a state representative from 1967 to 1975.

Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis issued the following statement on Boren's announcement:

Oklahoma State University commends President Boren on his remarkable career and epic success. His dedication and leadership as President of the University of Oklahoma has contributed to the betterment of our state and higher education.

Personally, I appreciate his collaboration and friendship. He has been a wonderful partner to me and Oklahoma State.

The state of Oklahoma owes David Boren its deepest gratitude. His lifetime of public service has earned him a place as one of Oklahoma’s finest statesmen. We appreciate all he has done and OSU wishes him all the best.

Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, also had a response to the news of Boren's retirement:

President David L. Boren’s distinguished tenure at the University of Oklahoma is an extension of his lifetime of selfless, tireless service to the State of Oklahoma. He will be the standard by which all future leaders of our great state and of this university will be measured. 

I believe his years at the University of Oklahoma will be considered the Golden Age of OU. His bold leadership and diligent service have not only enriched the lives of thousands of students, but it has also contributed immeasurably to the community of Norman and our state as a whole. I join with OU students, faculty, and staff in thanking him for all he has done to advance higher education in Oklahoma, and wish him nothing but the best in all things.

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford had this to say:

President Boren is an Oklahoma institution. Throughout his five decades of public life, President Boren has honorably served the people of his state and nation. I join many Oklahomans today to express my gratitude to President Boren for his faithful service to the University of Oklahoma. The relationships he forged from his service as Governor and US Senator have brought OU exciting new opportunities and tremendous growth and success. Over the last 23 years as president, he has continued a long tradition of leadership of academic excellence and student success.

Governor Mary Fallin said of Boren:

I have known President Boren for a long time, and have a great respect for him. I appreciate his dedication and commitment to the University of Oklahoma. He is a tireless promoter of OU, and I’m sure he will continue to be a strong advocate for all levels of education after his retirement. President Boren clearly meets the definition of being a public servant, having spent 50 years in public service as a legislator, governor, U.S. senator and, for the past 23 years, as the 13th president of OU. He deserves thanks from all Oklahomans.