ORU faculty votes "no confidence" in Richard Roberts

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Chris Medlock is reporting that Oral Roberts University faculty met Monday and passed a resolution of no confidence in ORU President Richard Roberts. Roberts had stepped aside as president of the school pending an investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing raised as apart of a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by three former professors.

According to Medlock's source, the faculty also called for greater financial transparency and greater faculty involvement in university governance, in setting criteria for the search for a new president, and in the actual process of selecting a new president.

It seems to me that if ORU is to recover from its current problems, it can no longer be or even seem to be a hereditary monarchy, where the whim of the royal family is law.

UPDATE: Medlock has posted a scan of the motions approved by the ORU tenured faculty.

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19 Comments

Pamela said:

I came here as a young 17-year-old in 1977 to attend ORU. I made many friends over the years. We keep in touch these days via email since we are spread across the country and in a few cases outside of the US.

I'm truly horrified to hear this. I just read the article in the Tulsa Whirled about this a few minutes ago. At the same time I'm not surprised. The one thing that makes me think that something is going on is the involvement of John Swails, a tenured professor. You just do not leave a university when you are tenured. My cousin worked really hard to become a tenured professor a couple of years back. Hearing him on KFAQ made me conclude that the man had some sense and was not the type to do something stupid to be let go.

I have a friend on the ORU alumni board. She has been very concerned about things. I do not ask her too much about this. She keeps us posted on things before they make the news. My friends for the most part have been silent. Not sure what to make of this.

For any Christian that is reading my post I beg you to judge yourselves like the Bible says we should in order to not be judged. If we do not judge ourselves the media, government and the judicial system will gladly do it. They will not show any mercy, especially the media since all they want is ratings for ad dollars. I do not plan to feed their hunger for scandal.

Only the Lord can fix this one.

Adam said:

Pamela... you don't seem to have followed the story very well. Swails didn't step down on his own. As you said, that's not something a tenured professor would do lightly. Swails was fired... in the middle of class. The rest of the tenured faculty seem to have a pretty good understanding of what's been going on, thus the vote of "No Confidence". That doesn't mean they're negatively judging the Roberts, only appropriately evaluating them. If you read the news articles, you'll see that Vance stated, "many people personally like [Richard Roberts]". But that doesn't mean he's a good leader of a university. I myself also went there, and while I'd like to like RR, I also learned enough to know that he's bad for the University.

Paul Tay said:

RR would make a great Elvis impersonator!

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

For my son, and my family, we have discovered another thing to check when making the decision on which university to attend - If the regents of the school are qualified to be regents.

Pamela said:

I have followed this story in great detail. I told my out of town ORU friends about this days before it hit the national news. One of my ORU friends is on the alumni board. She sends me stuff before it goes public most of the time. I also have over 30 years of having contacts with people that I went to school with and/or have worked at ORU or OREA or ORM. Sad to say I have heard many stories like this over the years. One of them took place before I graduated in 1981 with a friend of mine.

I heard the interview this morning with one of the professors that set up the meeting where the no confidence vote took place. They were giving an evaluation of things from what I could gather from the interview. I strongly suggest that people listen to that interview on the podcast page of www.1170kfaq.com. It was a very revealing interview. He was pretty candid. It seemed to be at least 15-20 minutes. I plan on emailing this interview link to my ORU friends. Adam, It confirms what you read on this and gives even more details.

I have great hopes for ORU. Whatever needs to be cleaned up looks like will be. Hopefully the right person will take over ORU.

s said:

With the Senator from Iowa doing investigation on Benny Hinn, Ken Copeland and others that have been associated with ORU that have taken in millions of dollars, the way they handle their finances and "tax-exempt" "ministries" could be revealing.

The regents that approve of the high salaries and all the free extras that Richard and Lindsey have enjoyed over the years proves the ORU Regents aren't good stewards of money either.

Richard also seems to be lacking severely in common economic sense.

sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:


I see this as a tragedy for the city of Tulsa. ORU was a beacon of success in a city where we are running out of them. Not that making Tulsa "look bad" to those outside the city is a big issue, but we as citizens need a success story on which to hang our hats.

Also, every community these days needs a moral compass. ORU and its graduates served that purpose for Tulsa. My prayer is that ORU's leadership will re-invent itself and get all the problems behind them.

Does anyone know why Chris Medlock's site has been down?

Also, S. First off, I do not condone any proven illegal or wrong actions taken by Richard Roberts or parties. As for your comment on his wages, from what I have been able to find, he made from ORU about what the going rate was for all the other major surrounding colleges. I can't say that making competitive wages is excessive. As for the Senator from Iowa, you may be interested to read an Op-Ed piece from a Former Senator from Georgia as a response.

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/stories/2007/11/13/barred_1114.html

s said:

Before I was married, I was asked if I wanted to work in Washington, DC
for one of the most powerful U.S. Senators. I decided not to, but I did have a friend that did accept. I have worked for political people and for a person that has done top secret government projects.

Check out other U.S. Senators and our Congressmen.

Oral Roberts University is a ministry. If you think Richard Roberts should be paid what the regents have allowed, then that's your opinion.

Harry Rockefeller Author Profile Page said:

As a student who attended 4 years, 1967-1971, and returned in 1975, to teach in the Chemistry department for 5 1/2 years, I have my own experiences and thus, opinions on the institution. The most accurate statement to describe ORU is that it is a privately run "business" by it's "owners". Maybe nothing's been done illegally. At a business most employees know what at-will employment means. Do tenured faculty have some kind of legal protection from being fired at-will? I don't know how law applies here.

As an Christian institution of higher learning the greatest need I see is for curriculum to be based on a biblical worldview. Here are a few examples of subjects I never saw at ORU. Creation: in ORU's science department, the faculty didn't really consider 6-day creation to be "science". Economics: fiat money and continuous deficit spending by our national government is literally breaking the 8th commandment. We (current voters and elected officials) are stealing from our children and grandchildren. Ethics: the relevance of civil crime and punishment to Scripture.

s said:

It would be great for the audit to go back to when Richard was married to his first wife. Patti, Richard Roberts first wife has been quoted that the enormous amount of money the Roberts family spent on themselves and that she could see Richard turning into a clone of Oral Roberts.

Divorce seems to be acceptable according to the Roberts. Oral had a son that committed suicide. He was gay according to reports. Never heard Oral or his wife talk about him on television back when he was alive and well.

s said:

As of November 19th, 80% of the faculty felt Richard Roberts should not continue his tenure as president of ORU.

You can imagine how this will take a toll on the donations -- Richard and Lindsey may have to move out of the 5,000 + sq.ft. home and give up some of the luxury "benefits" that are given to them in addition to salary.

The IRS may take away their tax-exempt.

s said:

In the news a former student has filed a lawsuit (see channel 6 news).

I would like to hear from the teachers at Oral Roberts University on the academic news of his two girls that left ORU as students recently if they did their own work in classes or if they had to have tutors at ORU in order to pass. It would also be interesting if Lindsey Roberts ever pressured any of the ORU teachers at any time with the two younger daughters that quit recently at ORU in any way to pass the girls in any of the university courses (such as college algebra).

If any of the former professors that taught Richard Roberts it would be great to hear from any of them if they were ever pressured if Richard earned his doctorate at ORU.

Accreditation accountability.

s said:

Harry McNevin said in a recent interview that he quit the Board of Regents at Oral Roberts University in disgust in 1987 after it became clear that the Robertses were dipping into the school's endowment fund for their personal use "in the millions".

Harry McNevin said the last straw came when the board of regents practically rubber stamped the use of millions in ORU university endowment money to buy a Beverly Hills, California property so that Oral Roberts could have a West Coast house and office there. Of all the expensive places in the U.S. he picks Beverly Hills, California. A very expensive country club membership was also purchased with the home.

Suzanne Culpepper, a former ORU student and nanny for the Richard and Lindsey's three daughters said she was fired by Lindsey Roberts after refusing to work on her day off. When Richard and Lindsey were away she said she was curious what was inside a closet of Richard and Lindsey's and found 454 ties, 18 pairs of golf shoes, 100 pairs of dress shoes, 160 suits, plus a six foot long dresser stuffed with 100 more dress shirts still in their packaging.
For Lindsey Roberts, two rows of dresses and blouses and an entire wall of shoe racks with 275 pairs of shoes. Suzanne said after seeing all of that Richard in ORU chapel they were constantly asking students for money for the school or this program or that program would be shut down. Living with them as nanny, Culpepper said she was disgusted by their excess.

s said:

There was a caller on KFAQ that seemed clueles just as Richard Roberts gives answers to reporters as though he is clueless.

Here's how it works. Endowments are supposed to be for major projects, not day-to-day operating expenses or personal spending of Richard or Oral Roberts. Oral Roberts has previously been critized for his overwhelming lavish spending --such as the unnecessary move to Beverly Hills, California as explained by Harry McNevin and other places besides Tulsa he has lived with extremely expensive country club memberships. The principal in an endowment (good example such as the University of Tulsa) is left untouched, and only the earnings are spent.

ORU endowment once estimated near $60 million now stands at around $34 million.

In her 1983 memoir, "Ashes to Gold," Richard Roberts first wife, Patti Roberts, documented the jet-set lifestyle: a blue Mercedes as a Christmas gift for Richard, a Jaguar for herself, Italian suits and Palm Beach vacations.

McNevin like others have noticed as well as the many ORU students and their own faculty said the ministry has lost sight of the sacrifices made by countless donors -- many who can only send $5, $10, $20 or more to support the ministry/university. The ministry sent out so much mail asking for financial donations in 1980 where contributions totalled $88 million dollars.
What did the university do with all that money and all the other millions and millions of dollars over the years where the Oral Roberts University appears to be run down. I know I went to a Mabee Center event a few times in past years when they were racking in the millions in donations and there was rust coming out of the water faucet in the ladies bathroom.

Vacations in Palm Springs and the South Seas is not what sacrificial donors are giving their hard earned money for as well as all of the other dipping into the school's endowment fund for their personal use.

H. R. Lee said:

Who's to say that all the loose cash that people have sent in over the years did not go directly into the pockets of the Robert's and their
croonies ,like Robert Tilton and his henchmen

adeucalion said:

I am sad to hear even anything remotely wrong done by Richard Roberts. I am not aware of the details but it doesnt matter. I watched Richard Roberts on TV for years and I know like jesus said " the gates of hell will not prevail" I will pray for Richard and Lindsey the same way they prayed for me. Alex

George said:

ONY PETER POP OFF CAN HELP NOW
UNLESS HIS HEAD POPS OFF FIRST

S.J. Webster said:


If all of you are so down on the Roberts then why did you even go to ORU. You sound pretty judgemental to me.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 13, 2007 6:42 PM.

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