Sent to Board of Regents

It is difficult for me to believe that the Board of Regents would possibly approve the proposed acquisition of homes and property from the OSU campus, North to Eskridge, in order to develop an underfunded Athletic Village. The citizens of Stillwater have great concerns regarding this acquisition for many reasons:

1. OSU already owns a tremendous amount of property in the City of Stillwater which would serve their purposes better, or at least, equally as well.

2. The closing of primary streets in the City. OSU will not directly state that Hall of Fame and McElroy will be closed, but they have certainly implied such. These are both streets the taxpayers have funded. OSU will simply “acquire” them, with no compensation to the City.

3. The method of the take over of approximately 410 properties, some are homes in which elderly people have resided for many years.

4. The fact that most people think of “fair” as meaning “equal”. Compensation offered to property owners being forced into “sales”, is not adequate to buy an equivalent home elsewhere in the City. Is that “fair”? A decision to sell, is not the property owner’s luxury..

5. A significant loss of tax revenue will negatively impact the City and the Schools. Stillwater taxpayers will be asked to “take up the slack” for loss of revenue due to OSU’s take over of the properties currently owned by Stillwater residents.

7. None of the above concerns is as great as the concern for the manner in which OSU has forged ahead with their plans, in total disregard and disrespect, not only for property owners, but for the citizens and the City of Stillwater as well.

OSU is proceeding as if the funding for the project is in place. In fact, according to Gary Clark, there is only limited funding, available for voluntary acquisitions of the said properties in the current master plan.
The university could use these funds to actually begin construction of the project if it would utilize land it already owns rather than destroying homes of Stillwater’s citizens.

OSU is also proceeding as if the Board of Regents has already approved the Master Plan. It is my understanding that approval or disapproval of the plan is not scheduled to take place until December, 2, 2005.

OSU has shown a great lack of sensitivity, and little desire to work with the City of Stillwater and its citizens. Much ill will toward the University has been created. In the past, there has been an honored and congenial partnership between the City of Stillwater and OSU. However, OSU is now adopting tactics of a corporate hostile take over. I experienced these same tactics when I lived in Bartlesville and Mr. Pickens attempted a take over of Phillips Petroleum Company. Surely these are not truly the tactics of our beloved Oklahoma State University. Is the tail wagging the dog?

I urge you NOT to approve the current proposed OSU Master Plan.

Ann Bernhardt Cramer Williams

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4 Responses to Sent to Board of Regents

  1. Leonard G. Herron III says:

    This mornings Enid News & Eagle,, had an arcticle on the OSU expansion plan. I sent the following letter to the editor. I hope they run it.

    Leonard G. Herron III
    3418 Mayberry
    Enid, OK 73703

    November 28, 2005
    Dear Editor:

    A gross injustice is taking place in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State University under the guise of a new Master Plan is planning on using their powers of eminent domain to take private property for a new athletic complex. I am a third generation graduate of OSU. My mother is 84 and father is 89 and also a veteran of World War II and is semi-bed fast. They live in their home which was built by my grandfather at 1110 N. Bellis, Stillwater. No one, not OSU, not the State of Oklahoma, not the City of Stillwater, not the US Government should have the right to take their home if there is any possible reasonable alternative. OSU has lots of land where they wouldn’t have to take anybodies home. The area my parents home is in is planned for tennis courts. OSU has tennis courts, they have a soccer complex, and they have a baseball stadium. This action is just flat wrong not needed and will probably result in higher fees to students. It will block traffic in Stillwater and cost the taxpayers of Stillwater and Oklahoma millions and other home owners their homes in constructing new traffic corridors.

    The stakeholders that were to represent the property owner’s form this area in the planning process stand to profit from this. They own the most property in this area, much of which is the most ill maintained. They are also miffed at the remainder of the neighborhood for objecting to further multi-family housing encroachment into this largely moderate income single family dwelling neighborhood. A grand jury investigation of this planning process needs to be convened. There are a lot of people in this area that are in a similar position to my parents.

    The treatment by OSU of the people of this neighborhood has been shameful. In both meetings that OSU has held on this plan for the people of this neighborhood and Stillwater they have been started by we are not here to answer questions but to present the plan or the process. In meeting number one next week is the meeting for questions. In meeting number two last week was the meeting for questions. They make sure you see the eminent domain gun and that you know that an “offer you can’t refuse” is coming.

    As I write this letter, I fear that it is already too late. I would ask all OSU graduates contact the regents and state their objections. Contact your legislators and ask them develop legislation that would block any university, school, unit of local government, etc. form doing this to anyone. It is not American or Oklahoman. I would ask that you withhold any donations to the OSU Foundation until this plan is either modified or scraped. You can find out more by going to


    Leonard G. Herron III, Class of 1975

  2. Russell says:

    So, was the letter published?

  3. Leonard G. Herron III says:

    The letter was published today, December 5, 2005 in the Enid News & Eagle along with a nice editorial asking OSU to back up and restart the planning process. If interested check out

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