OKLAHOMA CITY – State representative Regina Goodwin expresses her concern in an open letter to the University of Oklahoma after the resignation of former Vice President Jabar Shumate.
She alleges that the administration attempted to force out Mr. Shumate and is talking about reopening the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) Fraternity.
The former VP's office was located in the repurposed SAE Fraternity house.
"Mr. Shumate, a capable black man, embodied and promoted positive diversity, including much needed insight and cultural intelligence on campus. Concerning are the circumstances of his recent departure. Mr. Shumate maintains OU officials told him to move his office out of the house while students were away, to avoid bad exposure, as the SAE fraternity would return to OU. Mr. Shumate voiced such a move would roll back progress. While OU officials refute this conversation, they report SAE is not coming back to the campus, the University Community Center staff and Mr. Shumate were booted out of the SAE house. After Pres. Boren retired, Mr. Shumate was demoted to associate vice president," wrote Rep. Goodwin.
Mr. Shumate was recently under investigation after allegations of misuse of his state-issued car.
"Is this solely about car travel or about Mr. Shumate driving home the point that OU should not lay down the welcome mat to racism and a lack of diversity at Oklahoma University," asked Rep. Goodwin in the letter.
Representative Regina Goodwin ends her letter calling for an "agreeable resolution" between OU and Mr. Shumate, and says OU should not associate with SAE.
"Oklahoma University should be intentional in prioritizing culturally intelligent diversity and inclusion for generations to come."