New Sexual Harassment Allegations Against OU Drama Professor

Monday, September 17th 2018, 10:24 pm
By: News 9

New sexual harassment allegations are emerging from the OU School of Drama.

Dozens of students and graduates spoke out against former professor and department donor John Scamehorn earlier this year, but now the former Drama director is under fire.

A new report from OU Daily outlines multiple tales of sexual harassment by Tom Orr, who still works as a professor in the Drama school.

One graduate tells News 9 that Orr is being protected by a university that needs a change in culture.

As students prepare for their first performances of the school year, 2014 graduate Brynne Frauenhoffer is remembering the comments she says Orr made to her under the guise of preparing her for the entertainment industry.

“He said at one point to me that I would never be considered pretty on stage or in film,” Frauenhoffer recalls, “but he was ‘so attracted to me, I had no idea.’”

The #MeToo movement prompted Frauenhoffer to speak about her experiences. She filed a Title IX complaint through the university in June, as dozens of people came forward with sexual harassment allegations against Scamehorn.

Orr stepped down as Drama director in the wake of that scandal, but still works as a professor.

“In front of me in a classroom setting, he made similar remarks about a student’s sex appeal, about what they should weigh. He told me I needed to buy a better bra at one point,” Frauenhoffer said.

Frauenhoffer says she never received a resolution from her complaint, just an email on Aug. 22 stating the investigation was concluded and handed over to administrators.

The full email, sent to News 9, read:

“We are following up to inform you that the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Office has completed the inquiry into allegations involving the College of Fine Arts.  The outcome of this inquiry has been reported to the Dean and appropriate administrative officials.  Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this process and for sharing your experiences with us in furtherance of the collective goal of creating and maintaining a safe learning environment.”

The university responded to the Scamehorn allegations with a promise to strive to do better, but with more students now coming forward about Orr, Frauenhoffer wants to see further action.

 “I think just sharing stories of what’s really going on will be illuminating and people will realize they’re not alone, and then I know for me that’s given me the strength to share what happened to me,” Frauenhoffer said.

News 9 reached out to university representatives and its Title IX office but has not yet received a response.

The Title IX coordinator told OU Daily that Orr's comments did not violate the sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment policy.