In the last year, it's become increasingly apparent that the University of Oklahoma needs to create a more transparent process for when employees come under scrutiny for conduct.

Ensuring that students have access to a safe learning environment is an incredibly important responsibility for OU.

It's one of the reasons the Title IX office exists.

More broadly, student complaints should be taken seriously, investigated vigorously, and those investigations should result in some sort of report that's made public, regardless of the findings.

Former OU professor John Scamehorn reportedly sexually harassed students for years, and, even after an investigation by OU's Title IX office, his conduct and OU's response (or lack thereof) was hidden under a veil of silence until current and former students' voices became too loud to ignore.

Former drama school director Tom Huston Orr also was accused by several students of sexual harassment.

As a result, Orr resigned his administrative position, but remains on faculty and hasn't made a public statement in response to the allegations.

Was there a Title IX investigation into these accusations, and what were the findings? OU hasn't made those public.

Last week, Brian McCall, assistant dean for academic affairs in the OU College of Law, also stepped down from his administrative position after the OU Daily published excerpts from a book he published where McCall details some offensive and outdated beliefs about women.

This was on top of the fact that McCall now edits a publication that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group.

These are three situations, but Orr's and McCall's, in particular, are germane to this discussion, although they got into hot water for different reasons.

What someone believes and how that impacts their ability to provide a quality education is a more subtle, nuanced conversation than how someone should act.

There's going to be differences of opinion on a college campus. And OU should be a space where diversity of thought is encouraged.

But teaching at OU is also a privilege, not a right, and there are lines that cannot be crossed.

What those lines are, and what happens when they're crossed, needs to be the product of an ongoing, open, honest discussion that includes not just OU administrators, but faculty, staff and students, as well.

When OU investigates conduct, the OU community deserves to know the investigation is happening and what the outcome is. A public report needs to be generated.

It's uncomfortable, but the university needs to embrace a more transparent, honest process -- if for no other reason than for the health and well-being of the thousands of students it's charged with educating.

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