Higher Education

Jonathan Small | February 15, 2021

Are Oklahoma parents getting what they pay for with college?

Jonathan Small

Whether parents are truly getting their money’s worth when paying for a child’s college tuition is a growing question not just in other states, but Oklahoma as well.

That’s because an increasing share of tuition money today funds things that have little to do with academics and preparing for a career, and much to do with political indoctrination. See for yourself.

Consider the University of Oklahoma, which has mandated diversity training for all students. Thanks to that training, OU students now know that chanting “Boomer Sooner” is racially problematic. They’ve been informed that supporting equality and treating all people the same are bad things. (I kid you not.) They’ve even been told the lives of all black citizens are comparable to house fires. Nothing shows your racial awareness like stereotyping all people by race, I guess.

Not to be outdone, Oklahoma City Community College recently removed a longstanding depiction of the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run. Why? Because it supposedly offended American Indians, who were often displaced by those settlers. Fair enough. What if the campus also had a monument recognizing the history of American Indians in Oklahoma? It seems that was never considered. Better to erase the past than grapple with it.

An OU newsletter recently informed students they can attend a workshop to learn how to “disrupt the detrimental dynamics of power and privilege,” headed by an administrator who has a “focus on social justice.” I am sure parents from all parts of Oklahoma will be thrilled to learn their children’s tuition is paying to help “disrupt” the awful system that allowed those families to pay tuition in the first place—because anyone capable of earning enough money to send a child to college is clearly the beneficiary of “power,” right?

If lawmakers truly want to make Oklahoma colleges the best in our region and nation, they must act now. They must refuse to increase college funding so long as colleges refuse to jettison garbage programs and augment those with true merit.

Jonathan Small President

Jonathan Small


Jonathan Small, C.P.A., serves as President and joined the staff in December of 2010. Previously, Jonathan served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, as a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small’s work includes co-authoring “Economics 101” with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden, and his policy expertise has been referenced by The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, National Review, the L.A. Times, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. His weekly column “Free Market Friday” is published by the Journal Record and syndicated in 27 markets. A recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s prestigious Private Sector Member of the Year award, Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and innovative public policy reforms. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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