Last Updated: 6/13/2013 (updates reflect his resignation as of August 1, 2013 and the firing, or retirement depending on who you ask, of his wife Beckie Francis from her position as head women's basketball coach)

Position: president (to be replaced by Betty Youngblood as interim president August 1)

Salary: $357,875
Responsibilities: He handles all major day-to-day University business
Direct reportsflowchart
Years in position/at OU: 20 years. 18 as President 

Related experience: He came to OU in 1993 as VP of academic affairs. He served as interim President from 1995-1996.

  • VP for Research and Strategic Planning, Drake University 
  • Executive assistant to the president, Drake
  • Vice Provost of planning and budgeting, Drake
  • Director of University Planning, Drake
  • Chair, Clinical externship program, Drake  
  • Special assistant to the Executive VP and provost university of Nebraska 
  • Professor, health sciences 
Education: Bachelor of Science in pharmacology, Southwestern Oklahoma State, Doctorate of pharmacology and toxicology, university of Kansas 


He announced his retirement the same day his wife Beckie Francis was "relieved of her duties " as OU's head women's basketball coach. She is being replaced on an interim basis by men's associate head coach Jeff Tungate. She has characterized this as a retirement on her Twitter feed .

There was much drama in 2009 in a bargaining struggle that lead up to a week long faculty strike that delayed the start of the fall semester.

  • Beginning in April 2009, the administration was named in a suit alleging that OU did not follow its own Constitution when Ron Sudol broke up the Department of Rhetoric, Communication and Journalism into the departments of Writing and Rhetoric, and Communication and Journalism without allowing for adequate faculty input. The grievance and suit were eventually denied. hereand here
  • strike coverage: here and here
  • Micah Fialika-Feldman was a cognitively impaired participant in Oakland University's Post Secondary Transitions Program (OPTIONS) who sued for and won the right to live on Oakland University's campus. Russi and other administration members were named in the suit. Here
Miscellaneous: Russi is married to (now former) women's basketball coach Beckie

Contact: You will probably be transferred to Ted Montgomery or David Groves in communications so I will include their information here as well.


Phone: 248-370-3500

Ted Montgomery


Phone: 248-370-4346

David Groves


Phone: 248-370-2759


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