From news release:

ECU President takes new job

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

In my recent email to you, I informed you that I participated in an interview for the position of president of West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM).  I was deeply honored to be among one of three finalists for that position. I have now been notified that I was the choice of the school and have been offered the position.

Since the notification, I have had to balance my strong personal and professional commitment to our university and Ada against an opportunity that I did not seek nor anticipate, but would fulfill a life long dream of becoming a president of a prestigious medical school. It was one of the toughest decisions we have ever made, but in the end, the close proximity to my wife's sister and aging parents was the deciding factor in our decision to accept the new position. 

I am mindful that the timing of this decision is not optimum, but I am sure you understand that one cannot control when an opportunity arises and that this one was totally unexpected.  WVSOM has agreed to extend the start date to February 1, 2009. My last official day at ECU will be January, 31, 2009. I will do everything I can to address the many pending issues before my departure. 

Tommye and I are so proud of the many advances ECU has made over the past two and one half years and greatly admire our faculty, staff and students. We appreciated our many friends on campus and in the community. The support from the Chickasaw Nation and so many others is remarkable.

Let me reiterate that we will always greatly treasure our time here at ECU and Ada. Our faculty, staff, students and many other friends have made our experience most memorable. The transformation of the university over the last two and one half years has been truly amazing. ECU will have a very bright future.


Richard Rafes, J.D., Ph.D.
East Central University
1100 East 14
Ada, OK 74820