University buildings with trees
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Martin Center Column Highlights Oklahoma University’s Folly

Jonathan Small writes for the Martin Center about questionable activity at the University of Oklahoma.

“I don’t understand how a state as red as Oklahoma can have such an obsessively woke state university with so few repercussions,” law professor and New York Post columnist Glenn Reynolds recently marveled.

He’s not alone. I don’t understand it, either. Nor do many Oklahoma taxpayers I’ve talked to.

The question is whether OU’s regents will choose to right the ship or whether they will continue to preside over the university’s evisceration.

Woke Biology, Woke Volleyball, Woke Everything

The board of regents recently approved its Fiscal Year 2022 budget—a budget that included a 2.75 percent increase in tuition and fees. Governor Kevin Stitt’s newest appointment to the board, Rick Nagel, opposed the tuition hike. Regent Frank Keating, a former Oklahoma governor who values college affordability (he helped create Western Governors University), didn’t support the increase either.

It’s worth pointing out, again and again, that tuition at the Purdue University main campus is frozen for the 10th year in a row. Thanks to the leadership of president Mitch Daniels, the total cost of attending Purdue is less today than it was in 2012. If Purdue can keep its tuition level, why can’t OU?

One wonders how many of those additional dollars will be used for overtly left-wing student indoctrination. Given the school’s recent trajectory, it’s clearly a substantial amount.

Take the faculty workshop dubbed “Anti-Racist Rhetoric and Pedagogies,” where a workshop leader vowed to “call them out” if students engage in forbidden speech. And what is forbidden speech in her classroom? She doesn’t say, but it is a fair guess that anything this professor dislikes could be banned. Instead of that faculty workshop, the university needs one to teach faculty members that under the Constitution, they cannot silence or threaten students based on the content of their speech.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...