Brandon Dutcher | April 29, 2020
Are OU students being punished?
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.
Senior Vice President
Brandon Dutcher is OCPA’s senior vice president. Originally an OCPA board member, he joined the staff in 1995. Dutcher received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma. He received a master’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in public policy from Regent University. Dutcher is listed in the Heritage Foundation Guide to Public Policy Experts, and is editor of the book Oklahoma Policy Blueprint, which was praised by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman as “thorough, well-informed, and highly sophisticated.” His award-winning articles have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, WORLD magazine, Forbes.com, Mises.org, The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, and 200 newspapers throughout Oklahoma and the U.S. He and his wife, Susie, have six children and live in Edmond.