You are the owner of this article.

'We're not going to be entertaining any further questions': Special regents meeting ends with no new information on investigation, establishment of search committees

  • 0
  • 1 min to read
Hilliard, Eddy and Bana

Levi Hilliard, Jess Eddy and Sara Bana at the Robert M Bird Library on April 26.

After meeting for nearly six hours, the OU Board of Regents released no new information about an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual harassment at the highest levels of the university, and declined to respond to accusations that OU policy failed to adequately serve victims. 

In a special meeting of the OU Board of Regents on April 26, which started at 8:30 a.m. and ended at roughly 2:30 p.m., the regents were set to discuss ongoing investigations into allegations of sexual harassment against former OU President David Boren and former OU Vice President Tripp Hall.

The April 26 meeting ended with the board's chair, Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, saying she wouldn't take any questions from the press.

"Privacy is important to our students and employees as a way to come forward safely and without fear of retaliation," Rainbolt-Forbes said. "We've complied with the law and we will continue to do so." 

The statement from Rainbolt-Forbes did not address a statement given earlier in the day by Jess Eddy and Levi Hilliard, the two OU alumni alleging misconduct by Boren and Hall, in which they both said the university failed to adequately address their needs as victims, and protected abusers.

Eddy and Hilliard called on the regents to review Title IX policy and release the report created by Jones Day regarding its investigation into David Boren. 

At the end of the meeting, Eddy confronted members of the regents' staff over an unclear issue. Sara Bana, Eddy's public advocate, later said Eddy was upset because he saw an individual working with the regents who had come to Eddy to discuss his situation as a friend, which Bana classified as a conflict of interest.

Bana clarified that she didn't have a full understanding of the details of the situation.

"This would be unethical, this would be further evidence of obstruction of justice," Bana said.

Bana and university spokesperson Lauren Brookey later got into a heated confrontation in front of the press about the university's lack of response to Eddy and Hilliard's statements. 

Though they did not offer any new information regarding the investigation, the regents did establish three new search committees for the positions of dean of the David L. Boren College of International Studies, dean of the Gallogly College of Engineering and vice provost for instruction and student success. 

The regents are set to meet again in a regular meeting in early May. Rainbolt-Forbes said the regents are committed to finding resolution in the investigation. 

"As I've noted before, we cannot comment on any investigations related to personnel or ongoing legal matters," Rainbolt-Forbes said. "The regents remain committed to a detailed and deliberate process to resolve these matters." 

Support independent journalism serving OU

Do you appreciate the work we do as the only independent media outlet dedicated to serving OU students, faculty, staff and alumni on campus and around the world for more than 100 years?

Then consider helping fund our endeavors. Around the world, communities are grappling with what journalism is worth and how to fund the civic good that robust news organizations can generate. We believe The OU Daily and Crimson Quarterly magazine provide real value to this community both now by covering OU, and tomorrow by helping launch the careers of media professionals.

If you’re able, please SUPPORT US TODAY FOR AS LITTLE AS $1. You can make a one-time donation or a recurring pledge.

Load comments