Email from OU President David L. Boren to University of Oklahoma Community, October 27, 2008
October 27, 2008
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 6:54 PM
Subject: Re: OU email/network and political campaigns
Dear OU Community,
On September 12th an email was sent to the OU community regarding the use of our email system for political purposes. Since that time several people have inquired about the meaning of the email. I applaud those who asked the questions about this policy which was worded to make it appear overly restrictive. I am encouraged by the vigilance of members of the OU family in defense of free expression.
A university should always be a free marketplace of ideas. In addition a university has a duty to vigorously protect and defend individual freedom including the first amendment right of free speech and the right of free inquiry.
The policy has been clarified to those who have raised questions. I felt that in addition it should be clarified to the entire university community. The email of September 12th is hereby rescinded and withdrawn. Individual free speech by all members of the university community is fully protected. The earlier email was intended to remind all of us that no one should presume to speak on behalf of the university in a way that would imply that the university, as an institution, is supporting a political candidate, party or cause. This, however, does not limit the right of anyone to express individual views.
In addition, taxpayer funded public property should not be used to raise funds for a particular political candidate, party, or partisan cause.
I hope this message will clarify any earlier misunderstanding and will underline our university's commitment to individual freedoms.
Sincerely,David L. Boren