University of Oklahoma Allegedly on Warpath Against Professor

December 8, 2004

The priceless watchdog organization, “Foundation For Individual Rights in Education” (FIRE) reports that the University of Oklahoma tried to silence Professor David Deming, allegedly for his political expression and whistleblowing.

Deming’s first “mistake” was to submit a letter to the Oklahoma Daily in which he criticized a column advocating gun control. This prompted the university to threaten to punish him until FIRE intervened on his behalf.

But this led to the university’s monitoring of Deming’s letters to the editor and even cited them in his employment evaluations. Read the story and see how administration officials allegedly plotted to have Deming terminated after he blew the whistle on the Geology Department for a supposed conflict of interest. Ultimately Deming was transferred out of the School of Geology and Geophysics. FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff said:

OU’s scheming to evade tenure protections and rid itself of a consistent critic of the administration’s policies and politics threatens any professor who relies on tenure as a guarantee of academic freedom,” remarked FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Greg Lukianoff. “It is distressing that President Boren—after initially protecting Professor Deming’s academic freedom—has allowed these reprisals to occur.

University campuses are sometimes playgrounds for political correctness and thought control in the classroom, but the culture that leads to tyranny in the classroom, as we see, can also lead to forced uniformity among the faculty as well — or else. The ivory tower environment of no accountability can lead to extreme abuses of power.