June 11, 2008

Dr. Debbie Sowell, Dean of InstructionWe’ve just heard that Interim President Ralph Fagan will be stepping in to fill Mark Lewandowski’s position of Provost, according to an email received by the current student body (pictured below).  Dr. Debbie Sowell (pictured left), will step in under him as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Sources say that Dr. Sowell is a woman of strong character – that her appointment is a good thing.

(click the image to view the email)

Ron Luce

And just in case people aren’t up on the info, here is the current list of the ORU Board of Trustees, according to this Tulsa World article. And ORU’s website (complete with bios). We thought it was interesting that Ron Luce (pictured right) is on the Board now.

(click the image to view the list)

Lots of position-shuffling going on at ORU these days!

ORU LAWSUIT: Updates June 2008

June 4, 2008

The kids over at Save ORU are on it!

Mark Lewandowski (the ORU provost) is stepping down. I mentioned this to Ryan and he said, “What’s a provost?” and I didn’t quite know the answer! So, as a matter of course, we turn to WIKI!

Provost is the title of a senior academic administrator at many institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada… Even within these different types of appointments, the precise role of a provost varies from institution to institution. In most North American research universities and independent colleges, the provost is generally the chief academic officer. The incumbent is responsible to the institution’s chief executive officer and governing board for oversight of all educational affairs and activities, including research and academic personnel.

In related news, Lindsey was kept on the defendant list for the still pending lawsuit, despite Lindsey’s attorneys asking for her to be removed. This is my favourite quote from the Tulsa World article:

[Judge Rebecca Brett] Nightingale decided that factual allegation could potentially support the legal claims against Lindsay Roberts.


March 30, 2008

So they’ve lowered the debt to $25 million but according to the current interim President, there are lots of repairs to be executed.

ORU LAWSUIT: updates…

February 14, 2008

ORU moves to trim its debt – I like this move.  As an alum, I feel good about it.

Attorney asks for end to gag order in Oral Roberts case – who’s rights are most important?  Free speech or fair trial?

Both are Tulsa World articles.


February 9, 2008

Apparently, 1 billion dollars was allegedly funneled thru ORU inappropriately on an annual basis. That’s billion. With a B.

In other – also very interesting – news…

ORU has asked for a dismissal of the lawsuit.


February 1, 2008

Here’s some updates from the land of windy plains:

1. Green’s green promise made good.  Mart Green handed the money over in Chapel!

2. Finally, an update about the lawsuit!

3. And to conclude: one of the best updates on the state of the university that I’ve seen yet

Cornell?  How are you feeling about it all?


January 24, 2008

OREA is moving off-campus, according to a source of the cats over at SaveORU.com  I wonder if they’re moving in with parents or going part-time?  Maybe moving in with parents?

Also, I wonder will the IRS make them pay a $50 fine?  They were warned!


January 18, 2008


Benny Hinn, after losing voting privileges, has resigned from the board of regents.

If you read further in the article above, you’ll see that…


From the article: John Swails … will be reinstated as a professor… The other two professors, Tim and Paulita Brooker, will continue their case against the school. Tim Brooker said Thursday there was “still a chance” for him to settle the case, but in the meantime, “we’ll proceed with pursuing the truth.”



Also in that article, the judge ordered an amendment to the suit to reflect Swails’ settlement and to list specific people rather than broad generalizations such as “the board of regents.”



Well, I kind of understand why the “powers that be” were weary of a “power-sharing program” but still…  $70 million?!


January 9, 2008

 They’re still deciding?!

At least a decision was made about something.


December 21, 2007

Institute modern standards of accountability?  You’re crazy!

Key quotes: “The proposal will focus on accepted twenty-first century shared governance principles. To help develop this proposal, the Green family has retained several nationally renowned experts in Christian higher education.”

The American Federation of Teachers describes shared governance as an administrative model “under which college faculty and staff participate in significant decisions concerning the operation of their institutions.” 

Thanks to Phil Cooke.

P.S.  Jesse Duplantis has stepped down from the ORU board.


December 14, 2007

Because of the Tulsa-area power-outages, the former professors’ attorneys could not prepare for the hearing and it was consequently post-poned until January 9th. Two key issues at this preliminary hearing?

  1. ORU had requested mediation. The judge ordered it.
  2. ORU had requested that Richardson be ousted from the team because he is allegedly also Stephanie Cantees’ attorny. Richardson denies this. But, it matters not, Stephanie was too ill to appear to testify, according to this TulsaWorld article.

I find it interesting that we haven’t heard from Stephanie much. She’s pretty much the crux of the allegations. The report came from her. Can’t she at least confirm (in the media trial) that what Richard and Lindsey said about her is true? That she’s dyslexic and was asked to write down rumours? Honestly, she’s the black hole in this case.

Dyslexics, untie!*

*Name that movie.


December 12, 2007

Shake your… Benny?

The ORU Board of Regents is undergoing a “shuffle” as Phil Cooke puts it. Here’s the TulsaWorld article which states: Creflo Dollar resigned from the regents, and Benny Hinn is now a “regent emeritus” with no voting power. Interesting…

Some people are happy that Creflo is off the board.

I’m just a fan of change.

ORU & The Senate Inquiry: Some Thoughts

December 11, 2007

The inquiry by Senator Grassley’s comittee reminds me strangely of what Swails, Brooker, Brooker, & Richardson did in releasing the contents of Cantese’s document about improprieties by Richard & Lindsey. There are no actual allegation or accusation by the Senate committee that precipitates this inquiry, and it’s strangely coincidental that they have targeted all Word of Faith teachers. Further, although I don’t know the law, it strikes me as highly irregular that a senate committee would begin investigating the tax-compliance of select organizations without IRS involvement or specific and stated cause(s). Of course there may be genuine cause, and it is a bit eery that the more flamboyant preachers of the bunch (Hinn & Dollar) are resisting offering up their information.

Read the rest of this entry »


December 5, 2007

He was reportedly interested in “options” for ties.  But today he says that ORU’s gonna be okay.

Key Quote: “Robertson said the team reported that ORU’s assets would enable the school ‘to restructure and recover from this temporary setback.'”


December 2, 2007

UPDATE (2009-11-21):

A lot of people are coming here from “The Writing On The Wall.”  Welcome!

Click here for my tiny post about Pastor Billy Joe.

For more posts about the ORU lawsuit click here.

ORIGINAL POST (2007-12-02):

So I heard from another (different) source a few days ago that current Executive Regent/Interim President Billy Joe Daugherty had been fired from the Campus Pastor position at ORU some time during the past year (2007) for confronting Richard about his alleged antics (financial and otherwise). Following the firing, Daugherty and his church – Victory Christian Center (VCC) – was booted from the Mabee Center as a cumulative result of Richard’s reaction to Daugherty’s defiance. VCC had been housed at the Mabee Center for decades before being booted.

Here is the open letter from the Board of Regents outlining the complete results from the recent meetings.

Here is a TulsaWorld article providing more information about Mart Green, whose family is giving the $70 million to ORU, conditionally.

Key quote: “Green said that as part of his review, he is seeking advice on ‘what good governance looks like at universities.   …We think the biggest issue is not the finances. That’s not the root problem. It is the lack of trust, and that’s a spiritual issue.'”

Also interesting: “Worried about the plight of people facing issues such as AIDS, Green started a nonprofit film company to tell their stories.” I find this interesting because I have a friend who just started a nonprofit film company.  It’s an odd duck – with little precedent.


December 2, 2007

Regent students are getting in on the action.


November 27, 2007

Phil Cooke’s most recent blog about the latest ORU news is just… really good. Here are some of my favourite quotes (emphasis mine):

“…I think an even bigger event happened today. The culture of fear that has enveloped ORU for decades has been lifted. Now, the school is free to pursue its destiny. Professors, staff members, and students can feel free to have a voice in the future of the university without fear of retribution from the top. The day to day functions can move forward from an academic mindset, rather than a ministry mindset. I hope and believe that the school will remain true to it’s spiritual heritage and calling, and perhaps the events of today will help it more than we think.”

This is extremely important.  If he’s right, it absolutely does mean a new era at ORU, as the kids over at SaveORU.com suggest.

And about Richard:

“I actually think today’s decisions will give Richard a freedom he’s never had to pursue his calling, rather than his father’s. At 60 years of age, perhaps we’ll now find out what Richard is really capable of from a ministry perspective, and in that, I hope he’ll do very well.

As Ryan noted, this jives with Richard’s prophecy.

Regarding a new president:

“I hope the Regents select a new president that has respected academic credentials, is a gifted fundraiser, understands people, is a strong leader, and most of all – has a compelling vision for the future of ORU. If that man or woman is out there – and I believe he or she is – then the future of Oral Roberts University is assured.”

We agree!  Good stuff Phil.


November 27, 2007

…the ministry and the school! Wow!!

Also, Mart Green, founder of Hobby Lobby and Mardel Christian Educational and Supply chain, has promised to give ORU a WHOLE LOTTA MONEY! With what seems like good strings attached…

Check it all out here: Tulsa World.

Key Quote: “Pearsons promised that faculty, staff, student, and alumni would be involved in the presidential search process.

Thanks to Steph!


November 27, 2007

Interesting article – interesting thoughts – from TulsaWorld.


November 27, 2007

The kids over at SaveORU.com linked to this page where you can send these groups on the Board of Regents an email:

  • All members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • George Pearsons, Chairman, ORU Board of Regents
  • Billy Joe Daugherty, Executive Regent
  • Oral Roberts
  • Richard Roberts
  • Natalie Bounds, Alumni Relations Director

I’m a little skeptical that they’ll actually be reading these emails by the end of today, but it might be worth a shot!

What should you say?  Ask for quality, academically-experienced, accountable leadership.  Some say to ask for the separation of ministry and education.  Ask for truth.