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Governor commends OSU faculty council chairman

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

During its May 10 meeting, the Oklahoma State University Faculty Council recognized departing members for their years of distinguished service. The honorees included outgoing chairman Lionel Raff, who was awarded a special commendation from Gov. Brad Henry, and former chairwoman Carol Moder. OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly presented Raff the governor’s commendation. Raff has admirably served his fellow faculty since being elected council vice chairman in 2003 and becoming chairman one year later, according to Schmidly. Lionel has been presented with many interesting and challenging issues during his tenure,” Schmidly said. “Each time a new issue arose, he very carefully considered all aspects and views, which was evidenced by his thorough responses. appreciated Lionel’s calm and rationale approach throughout all sorts of discussions and am especially pleased to present him this commendation on behalf of Governor Henry,” he said. Raff spearheaded Faculty Council efforts to bring about changes to the retirement benefits program for OSU faculty and staff. The council’s work to improve program options led ultimately to passage of House Bill 2226, the Alternative Retirement Plan for Comprehensive Universities Act. The 2004 legislation was hailed for bringing needed flexibility to retirement investment programs for university employees and allowing the state’s major schools to recruit competitively top faculty and staff.   Henry acknowledged Raff as an outstanding Oklahoma scientist and commended his chairmanship of the Faculty Council at OSU, writing, “Your distinguished service is a true reflection of your commitment and dedication to higher education.” Raff, a Regents Professor of chemistry, has been a member of the OSU faculty since 1964. His honors include the Award of Merit from the Oklahoma Academy of Science and the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Award for teaching at a college or university. In 2002, OSU alumni founded an eponymous scholarship in physical chemistry in his honor. The author of the essential textbook, “Principles of Physical Chemistry,” Raff’s research interests include theoretical studies of reaction dynamics and mechanisms and theoretical investigations of gas-solid interactions, gas-phase energy transfer and reaction dynamics in the solid state. Of late, he has collaborated with Ranga Komanduri, Nelson Chair in mechanical engineering, on materials surface polishing and cutting at the nanometric level. Moder, associate professor and head of OSU’s English department, served as vice chairwoman of the Faculty Council from 2002-2003 and chairwoman from 2003-2004. She held the position of past chairwoman this year. Other council members completing posts in 2005 who were recognized during the meeting included Shida Henneberry, Don Murray, Dale Toetz, Alyson Greiner, Dennis Mott, Suzanne Bilbeisi, Andrea Arquitt, Terry Lehenbauer and Jami Fullerton.

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