Boren, Hall accusers claim university has history of excusing sexual harassment, misconduct

OKLAHOMA CITY - Two graduates of the University of Oklahoma are demanding the university regents review the school's policies and procedures surrounding their Title IX office.

Jess Eddy and Levi Hilliard, the two men alleging misconduct by former OU president David Boren and former OU vice president Tripp Hall, spoke with reporters Friday outside a closed door meeting where OU regents were in executive session.

Regents returned after six hours, taking no questions from the press. Board chairman Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes said the purpose of the meeting was to catch newer regents up to the speed on the investigation.

"As I've noted before, we cannot comment on any specifics relative to any ongoing personnel and legal matters," Rainbolt-Forbes said. "That said, let me reiterate the regents remain committed to a detailed and deliberate process to resolve the matters."

Outside the meeting hours before it adjourned for the day, Eddy and Hilliard called out the university claiming it had a history of secrecy and intimidation.

"The university can no longer value the careers and reputations of the powerful few over the safety, dignity and lives of students, faculty and employees," Hilliard said.

Hilliard, who currently works at the university, is accusing Hall of sexual misconduct while he worked at the University Club. He said he immediately reported it to his supervisor and followed up several times.

"Based on OU’s own mandatory reporting policies as well as the Title IX procedures for reaching out to those who are potentially victims of sexual misconduct at the university, I should have been reached out to by the OU title 9 office in the instance of what to me being reported," he said Friday. "I was never contacted, and Title IX made no effort to reach out to me until all this time later."

Public advocate Sara Bana was also present Friday, demanding the release of the Jones Day report on the investigation. According to Bana, the report has only been shared with Boren.

"Today is the third private meeting to discuss these allegations. These meetings are cheap. We demand action. Action is the trait of the leadership we need in this type of crisis," Bana said. "In my work involving injustice at the University of Oklahoma, I have received dozens of reports of egregious and heinous crimes and misconduct, now ongoing at OU and having occurred over the past two decades."

Eddy, a former aide to Boren, claims the university had failed to follow reporting policies and federal law within their Title IX office. He added there has been pressure to not file a formal complaint.

"The responsibility does not lie solely with the Title IX office. A working relationship has existed between the Title IX office and the office of legal counsel that is nothing else but a gross conflict of interest," Eddy said. "They have wrongfully worked closely and truly perverted what should have been the university’s safe space for victims with the general counsel’s collaboration and use of private law firms."

While the university is not commenting on specifics surrounding the investigation, Rainbolt-Forbes insists the university has been in compliance with the federal law.

"We will continue to do so. We recognize our obligations to our university and the state. We are working hard to face these challenges, respectfully and in compliance with the law," she said. "I want reaffirm for all of you that we are absolutely and stringently committed to doing the right thing."

Requests made for a comment to Boren's attorney, Clark Brewster, on Friday have not been returned yet.

In the past, Hall has told the online publication NonDoc that he was "not at liberty" to discuss the events surrounding the investigation.

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