The University of Oklahoma’s top officials including its new president, Jim Gallogly, are under fire for alleged retaliation against one of their own employees, once again. The OU official behind the allegation is accusing OU of halting work on a program to help students struggling with addictions because of a grudge.
“I believe that the greatest risk is that students' lives are in jeopardy,” OU’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jess Eddy said. Eddy was in charge of developing the program that would have been called the Collegiate Recovery Program.
Eddy, an OU grad, said he struggled with addiction while he was a student, taking him eight years to earn a bachelor’s degree. He added students broadly are at risk for becoming addicts because of the abundance of alcohol and drugs as well as the impact of the opioid crisis on campuses.
CPR would have helped an estimated 1,800 students on campus Eddy said would likely be in need of the services like mentoring, nutrition guidance and counseling the program would have provided. Eddy modeled the proposed program off programs found at more than 100 colleges and universities across the country.
“The University gave reasons void of logic and fairly unsensible (sic). And at this point in time, I believe the reason they canceled the program is to retaliate against me,” Eddy said.
Or rather Eddy's former boss, Jabar Schumate. Schumate was the former vice president of diversity who resigned back in July. The University said he'd been using his state-owned vehicle improperly. Schumate and some of his colleagues argue he was forced to resign in what Schumate called a "high-tech lynching"
Gallogly strongly disagreed with both claims of retaliation during an interview on Wednesday.
“It's absolutely wrong,” he said.
Eddy says he had private backers to fund the program, meaning it wouldn't cost OU a dime. Gallogly says he's never seen the numbers.
“I haven't seen the private funding yet, but apparently, he said quite a few things that aren't exactly accurate so let's take that at face value,” Gallogly said.
He added he’s open to a program similar to the one Eddy had been working on but would like to see more research. Eddy sent News9/Newon6 a report alleging the program could make the school money, but the News9/Newson6 was not able to independently verify the figures.