At the meeting last Friday, you heard much opposition to OSUâ€™s new Master Plan. As you know, most of the opposition is directed at the land acquisition for the athletics village. It is that purchase, supported by a recent donation by T. Boone Pickens, that will displace Stillwater residents. It is that purchase that will result in a vacant lot in the core of Stillwater, because OSU canâ€™t even find the funding to finish the construction of the football stadium, much less find funding for a new athletics village. It is that purchase that sends more funds to athletics facilities, while the library â€“ the center of any academic institution â€“ houses archives in a grocery store building.
This land acquisition was specifically opposed in the comments of the representatives of what President Schmidly likes to call the â€œOSU Familyâ€ â€“ official representatives of the Faculty Council, the Staff Council, and the graduate and undergraduate students. At last Fridayâ€™s meeting, the mayor of the City of Stillwater also outlined the history of OSUâ€™s changing demands for the closure of Hall of Fame, about which the City is informed, not consulted, to accommodate the expansion of T. Boone Pickens Stadium.
Now it appears that T. Boone Pickens is the speaker for next Fridayâ€™s Fall Commencement exercises. Inviting this donor to be honored at OSU, at this time, is not the action of an effective leader. It is not the action of a man who listens to the concerns of the people he leads or the town he leads them in. It is not the action of a man who has the sensitivity and skill to build support for his vision â€“ much less create a vision that is worthy of support.
Regents, I urge you: please encourage President Schmidly to discover a sudden conflict that will prevent Mr. Pickensâ€™s appearance on behalf of OSU at this sensitive time. Please help the â€œOSU Familyâ€ understand that you hear and share their concerns about the quality of their campus leadership â€“ and that you, as leaders of the OSU System, share a vision for long-term excellence at OSU that is worthy of an institution of higher education.
Former Stillwater resident
Daughter of OSU Emeritus Faculty
Sister of OSU alumni