An Open Letter to the next OU President

  *** DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that the opinions in this piece do not reflect the official stance and views of Her Campus, Her Campus Oklahoma nor The University of Oklahoma.*** 

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Dear President Gallogly,

I am one of your students. I have lived in Oklahoma my entire life and I have watched oil corporations drain this state of its resources and beauty, I have watched my favorite teachers leave the state because they cannot support their families anymore, and I have watched my tuition and fees rise so much that some students can no longer afford to attend OU.

Our outgoing president suppressed research from faculty proving that fracking causes earthquakes, victim-blamed sexual assault survivors, and allowed partnerships with oil companies who have polluted the drinking water of citizens.

Many students have said they are cautiously optimistic about your tenure, but I am not. Your track record in the corporate sector and the actions of President Boren have me concerned. Your undeserved pay raise of over $170,000 has me concerned.

There are professors who have been here for decades. They are award winning, the best in their field, and bring in lots of money to the university— yet they have barely gotten even one pay raise. Our professors are more than just professors. They work tirelessly on their own research as well as assisting undergraduate and graduate students with research. Their day is not over once class ends. They spend most of their free time grading papers, responding to emails, and writing their own publications.

There is no doubt that we have some of the best academics in the world at OU. Many of their offices are little more than cupboards and their salary is meager. Meanwhile, you have never worked in education a day in your life and you get paid half a million a year.

I am not cautiously optimistic about you. I am not optimistic at all. Putting a former oil tycoon in a position of power at OU is a slap in the face to the faculty and students— especially those of indigenous descent like myself, whose lands have been desecrated and stolen in the name of greed.

I promise this is not the last you will be hearing from students who feel as I do. I really want you to succeed, but to do that, you need to understand that your actions as an oil company exec and the actions of our former president were wrong. You will need to understand the ugly history of this state and this school when it comes to oil and corporate wealth. To succeed you will need to listen— REALLY listen when students and faculty are talking with you. It is more than positive PR to converse with us as we will be teaching you how to do your own job.

Sincerely,

A student who just wants the best for us

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