University of Oklahoma: Plot to Punish Professor for Political Beliefs, Whistleblowing

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of Oklahoma

At the University of Oklahoma, the School of Geology and Geophysics attempted to silence Professor David Deming, a frequent critic of administrative policy and a politically outspoken faculty member. OU removed him from his department, stripped him of most of his classes, and moved his office to a converted basement lab. After controversial remarks in Oklahoma Daily newspaper, Roger Slatt, Director of Geology and Geophysics, began to unconstitutionally monitor Deming’s letters to the newspaper and include them in three professional evaluations, until directed to stop by OU President David L. Boren. Slatt and his colleagues did not stop there, however. They instigated a campaign amongst OU alumni to remove Deming. After a prominent donor to the university condemned Deming, the university transferred Deming against his will, and evicted him from his office. Deming filed suit to restore his position in the School of Geology and Geosciences. Deming and the university settled out of court, and Deming transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences at OU.

  • The Chill Is Nothing New

    September 9, 2005

    There is a chill on campus, but that’s nothing new. For decades, campus speech has been chilled by speech codes and other attempts to prevent expression that might offend. Some would like to imagine that the excesses of “political correctness” are ancient history, but repression in the name of tolerance hasn’t gone anywhere. Oppressive speech codes are not only still around—they have actually multiplied, even after numerous court decisions declared them unconstitutional. Within the past year, college students have been punished for such things as expressing a religious objection to homosexuality and arguing that corporal punishment may be acceptable. Students […]

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  • Professor’s case exposes bias

    February 23, 2005

    Tenure hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be for University of Oklahoma professor David Deming. Sure, he still has a job, but it wasn’t enough to keep him out of the basement. Deming’s situation is a perfect example of what’s wrong with today’s academic establishment. The modern academy is too often characterized by political and intellectual conformism and a willingness to silence people who don’t just go along to get along — people like Deming. OU faces a federal lawsuit for removing Deming from its geology department, stripping him of classes, and, in a ridiculous attempt at punishment, actually […]

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  • Harassed Professor Files Suit Against Univ. of Oklahoma

    December 10, 2004

      (AgapePress) – Administrators at the University of Oklahoma are being accused of conspiring to punish an outspoken professor for his political views.   Tenured geology professor David Deming has filed a lawsuit against OU for stripping him of his office and most of this courses. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has advocated on his behalf, claims OU administrators plotted to ostracize Deming for his outspoken political views and attempts at whistle blowing.   FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff notes that four years ago, Deming was charged with sexual harassment for mocking a columnist’s pro-gun control arguments. Since […]

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  • The Man Without a Department

    February 27, 2004

    Norman, Okla. From David Deming’s old desk up on the ninth floor, he could look out the window over hundreds of houses east of the University of Oklahoma campus here. It wasn’t an awe-inspiring vista, but it was something. In his new office in the basement, he has a great view of a sink. Mr. Deming is a tenured associate professor in the School of Geology and Geophysics. Or rather, he used to be in the school. Because of a feud with the administration, he has been removed, placed in a strange limbo the university calls a “dean direct” position. […]

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  • University of Oklahoma Administration Plots to Punish Professor for Political Beliefs, Whistleblowing

    December 8, 2004

    NORMAN, Okla., December 7, 2004—The University of Oklahoma (OU) School of Geology and Geophysics has taken academic infighting to a new low in its efforts to silence Professor David Deming, a frequent critic of administrative policy and a politically outspoken faculty member.   Professor Deming has filed a federal lawsuit after OU removed him from his department, stripped him of most of his classes, and moved his office to a converted basement lab, all while claiming to respect the principles of academic freedom.  Public records requests have uncovered damning evidence that OU administrators schemed to marginalize and isolate him for his […]

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