ORU LAWSUIT: ECFA ACCREDITATION!

May 6, 2009

I missed posting this in March.  So sorry!

Apparently, ORU has recieved their Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) accreditation!  Those following the news about the lawsuit since 2007 will know that this was a huge part of the problem at the time – that ORU had a history and a reputation for being massively non-transparent.  That ORU has recieved this accreditation, is a huge sign that things are certainly changing for the better under Mart’s leadership.

Thanks to the kids at SaveORU.com for the heads up!


DC – THE FIRST FEW DAYS IN TULSA

February 5, 2009

Ryan and I spent most of the Fall of 2008 working on the feature film called “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher” in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  While I was there, I didn’t have much time to write.  So I’m going to spend a few blog posts now talking about my experiences in Tulsa.   Here’s the first of many!

I went out for pre-production in early October.  I stayed with our good friend and business partner Justin Monroe and his wife Kasey.  They were so gracious to give me the spare bedroom with a desk!  I was spoiled to be able to work late into the night and roll back out of bed early in the morning and keep working.  Perhaps that was some strategery on Justin’s part?  Nah…

The night I got there, Heather Roberts came over with coconut ice cream (made with coconut milk, not cow’s milk) and a back massage for me.  Thank you Heather!

I had been back a few days before I finally made it down to ORU for a visit.  I was nervous.  I didn’t know how I’d feel.  After having felt like I was escaping, seven years previous (having finished my last semester), and after all that’d gone on at ORU in the previous year (see this post), I was more than a little anxious to get the first visit over with.

Heather Roberts (who plays Angeline in the film) had told me on my first night back that when I went by ORU, I should just crack the doors of Howard “How Weird” Auditorium and breath in the air.  Memories, she said, would come flooding back.

As I walked toward Howard Aud., I felt that excitement that comes when visiting an old haunt.  So much of my life was lived within those curved walls.  So much of my artistic development and maturation…  So much of my pride and fear was cultivated and crushed…  The doors were chained.  So I did as Heather instructed and cracked them just a little.  And I breathed in the air that escaped.

It’s an unmistakeable smell.

I remembered auditioning in the lobby, playing sardines in the girl’s bathroom, running sound in the upstairs booth, designing makeup in the dressing rooms, sewing hundreds of yards of costumes in the costume shop, dancing across the stage, striding barefoot through the scene shop, tromping around in the orchestra pit…  tears, laughter, nervousness, eureka moments!  My memory was flooded with images.  Four years of my life flashed before my eyes.

And then I closed the door.  And paused.

As I slowly walked the rest of the campus, bathed in memories, I tried to put my finger on the emotion I felt.  I called my parents and talked it over with them as I relived discovering the campus anew.  Finally, it came to me.

Gratitude.  I felt gratitude!  I felt grateful for my education.  It came as a shock.  But it was honest-to-goodness gratitude.

Back at Justin’s I didn’t have long to dwell on my experience as I had a monumental task at hand.  It was a full six weeks before I would be able to return to ORU for a real visit with one of my favourite profs.  In the meantime, I produced a feature film.  More on that next time…


ORU LAWSUIT: THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS

August 28, 2008

Here’s a few random links:

  1. A poorly shot, yet still interesting, video from “Media Day.”  Stay tuned afterward to learn about bird diets.  J/K.  It’s a link from this article in The Oklahoman.
  2. There’s room for 800 more students, according to K. Flasch.
  3. Muchmore quotes from ORU leaders about the new school year in her TulsaWorld article.  Key quote:

Fagin told listeners at the chapel Friday that the university plans to have a new president in place by next summer. A search committee, with the help of a consultant, has received 100 applications and is narrowing the list. The final candidates will visit the campus, and the trustees will decide who is offered the job.

“A word of warning to whoever he or she may be: You better hit the ground running,” Fagin said. “We’re not in maintenance mode. This place is moving on all fronts.”

Seems like things are moving forward positively for ORU.


ORU LAWSUIT: 50 NAMES AND COUNTING

July 25, 2008

ORU has received at least fifty nominations or letters of interest for the position of president, according to this TulsaWorld article. Bruce Dingman of The Dingman Company is conducting the search. They have a list of qualifications posted here.

Key quote from the Dingman listing:

The opportunity is one where a style of servant leadership (humility, authenticity, and accountability), shared governance (a participative, inclusive management style) and a new board, will build a spirit of trust, mutual respect and community among the board, administration, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and supporters. This is a time for healing, rebuilding, re-energizing, and recasting of the vision with all the constituencies.

The president should be a person who will foster an environment of open communication and academic freedom, and dispel the climate of fear that has developed among the faculty and staff.

Key quote from the TulsaWorld article:

Roberts was accused last fall of creating a “culture of fear” on campus; he said he did not intend to create such a culture, if such a culture existed.

And finally:

If everything goes as planned the new President will likely assume the position around July 1st, 2009 and the official inauguration will occur in the fall of 2009.