Oklahoma University President, Faculty Remember Reagan’s Presidency, Work

OU affiliates and professors who worked with or studied former president Ronald Reagan remember his presidency and spoke about his personality and how he impacted the country and politics.

Reagan, 93, died at his home Saturday in Los Angeles.

President David Boren was a U.S. senator during the Reagan administration.

“By making the former Soviet Union pay a price every time it tried to expand the spread of communism, he helped the West win the Cold War,” Boren said. “He also significantly shifted more power from Washington to the state and local level.

Glen Krutz, assistant political science professor, said Reagan wanted to reverse the Carter administration’s establishment of the Department of Education.

“Reagan wanted to move education to the state level, but it didn’t happen,” Krutz said.

Krutz said Reagan wanted as much funding for his defense policies as possible, so he signed on with educational policies offered by Democrats. He said Reagan was a leader of the modern Republican Party.

“Reagan was the most conservative president that we had at the time,” Krutz said. “He really did give the far right an active part in American politics.”

Edward J. Perkins, former ambassador to South Africa under Reagan, said Reagan had a never-ending support for education.

“He believed the strength of the country lay in part because of education,” Perkins said.

He said Reagan believed the United States stood for something. He saw Reagan as a champion of making sure all citizens achieved their highest capability.

Boren has designated a five-minute period of meditation at noon Friday to honor Reagan.