Family Tradition Ends at ORU

Tulsa, OK – Family tradition ends as Oral Roberts University revamps

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Workers in the Oklahoma summer heat are trying to bring the campus of Oral Roberts University into the current century.

Parking lots are torn up on the 1960s-era grounds and dormitory walls have been stripped to the studs while crates of new stainless-steel appliances wait to be put in the cafeteria.

The work comes two years after ORU was deep in debt and then-school president Richard Roberts was accused of spending university money on vacations, home remodels and other luxuries.

Roberts is the son of the school's founder and eventually resigned but denied wrongdoing.

Now Mark Rutland is taking office today and becomes the first person not named Roberts to lead the school.

He faces challenges that include reversing sluggish enrollment and deciding whether to sell a handful of key university properties to solidify finances.

The school has already made significant progress and has cut its debt from $55 million at the height of the scandal to around $720,000.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.