OU President James Gallogly ordered OU Public Affairs to withhold university financial information this summer, including an op-ed written by former president David Boren, while Boren was still president.
On June 19, then President-designate Gallogly gave a financial report to the OU Board of Regents criticising OU’s financial situation, pointing out the university was nearly $1 billion in debt. Following this, then-President Boren released an editorial to Oklahoma media outlets saying OU’s finances were not as dire as believed.
Documents recently obtained by The Daily show Gallogly ordered OU officials not to share financial information without explicit approval from Gallogly himself and Clay Bennett, the chair of the Board of Regents, including Boren’s editorial.
In a response to a June 20 email by then OU Vice President for Public Affairs Rowdy Gilbert, who was removed from his position along with several other administrators by Gallogly on July 2, Gallogly ordered Gilbert “not to follow...Boren’s request” without permission from Bennett.
Gallogly’s email was in response to Rowdy emailing Gallogly about a press inquiry regarding university finances from a Tulsa World reporter.
“Rowdy, I am sorry we missed this deadline but I have been busy as a result of President Borens statement to the press today,” Gallogly wrote in the June 20 email. “I want to be clear to you that you are not to send anything to the press on any financial metrics etc. without my express permission or that of Clay Bennett’s. That means you are not to follow President Boren’s request to do so without permission from Mr. Bennett as well.”
On June 20, then-OU Press Secretary Matt Epting shared Boren’s editorial with The Daily. When asked for comment on June 19, Boren said he said it would be inappropriate to comment, but released the editorial the following day.
The Daily made a records request on June 13 for all communications between James Gallogly and university administrators; however, the request was not fulfilled until Nov. 1 at 2:56 p.m., 36 minutes after Gallogly sent a letter announcing the termination of 50 employees.