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.