Higher Education

Are OU students being punished?

April 29, 2020

Brandon Dutcher

It’s an oddity of our time, one professor astutely points out, that universities claiming to champion “diversity” have gone to great lengths “to cultivate relations with a communist dictatorship guilty of several of the worst genocides of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.”

Indeed, some universities are now condemning the mere use of the phrase “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.” Some are even urging students to report such usage to the campus bias-response hotline, a mechanism that allows any aggrieved or offended party to anonymously inform on his or her neighbor.

Is this happening at the University of Oklahoma?

Who knows? OCPA filed an open-records request for the complete case files (with identifying information redacted) of all the incidents reported to OU’s bias hotline since its inception in 2016. We made that request 20 months ago today. We haven’t received the records.

We’ve made other requests, too. We’ve requested records of “special payments” given to certain OU employees. We’ve requested records related to the false data that OU gave to U.S. News & World Report for two decades. We’ve requested a copy of an alleged “letter of resignation” submitted by an assistant law-school dean who was punished for his Christian beliefs and to whom OU subsequently paid a $125,000 settlement. We haven’t received the records.

OU says it is committed to building a “welcoming” and “supportive” campus environment where each individual feels “welcomed” and “valued.” Would then the use of the phrases “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus”—phrases, by the way, which were perfectly acceptable until suddenly they weren’t—be forbidden? 

Oklahomans deserve to know. It’s time for OU to tell us what kinds of incidents have been reported to the bias hotline—and how they were dealt with.