Tuesday, April 10, 2007

President Larry Williams now in intensive care - 10 April 2007

The president take a turn for the worse.


President Larry Williams had been moved to an intensive care unit for an illness unrelated to the heart attack he suffered last month.

He had been in physical therapy, but was taken to ICU with difficulty breathing, Neal Weaver, vice president of university relations, wrote in an e-mail to the faculty last week.

Williams, 62, is reported to be improving after recieving doctors’ care to stabilize an infection in his lungs, said Weaver.

The president was flown by helicopter to a Tulsa hospital March 3. Doctors diagnosed the heart attack as “moderate” and performed surgery to repair an artery. It was then that he was released to a rehabilitation center until March 30, when his condition turned.

The ongoing medical situation has cast doubts as to when Williams will return to work. His duties make little impact on the day-to-day operations of the university but as graduation and the budget cycle approaches, it seems his presence is essential.

The vice presidents of university relations, acadmic affairs and administration have taken their share of the work, making
the decisions with Williams in mind. However, said Weaver, what the administrators are doing now is not too far from their every-day jobs.

“I think we are very lucky to have a president that doesn’t micro-manage the instution and allows leaders across campus the freedom and flexibility to make decisions and solve issues related to their areas,” said Weaver.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Shaffer pleads not guilty; trial to begin next week - 3 April 2007

This is a recap of a story we broke a while earlier.


A former university employee who also served as a Redmen for Christ minister has pleaded not guilty to charges that he tried to solicit sex from a minor.

The next phase of Charles Shaffer’s trial will begin about April 9 in Federal court, where either jury selection will begin or lawyers will ask for a continuance. Public defender William P. Earley represents Shaffer.

Shaffer was arrested in February, exactly one month after police say he began an online conversation with what he believed was a 13-year-old girl, an FBI affidavit states. The Walters (Okla.) Police Department coordinated with members of Perverted-Justice.com in an Internet sting that began in December.

According to the affidavit, a member of Perverted Justice had portrayed a 13-year-old girl and was in contact with an individual with the screen name “c_meandu,” who said he was a state employee and worked in the field of communications. Shaffer is on administrative leave from the university, and was network manager with the university technical services network.

Shaffer is charged with using the Internet in attempting to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity. If convicted, he could face 5-30 years in prison.

Shaffer resigned Feb. 6 from his part-time post as a campus minister and head of Redmen for Christ, which is overseen by the South College Church of Christ.