What’s the Matter with Oklahoma?

From time to time we like to highlight academic job ads as an indicator of how badly politicized our universities have become. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes the University of Oklahoma with a job ad so jaw-dropping bad that it sets a new standard. In this case, for a musical theater performance slot.

The full ad is quite long, but I’ve excised some of the boilerplate employment language and highlighted the most egregious parts:

Assistant Professor of Performance (tenure-track)

Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre, University of Oklahoma

 The A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at the University of Oklahoma invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor of Performance. Appointment will begin in Fall 2022. This candidate will be a collaborative theatre practitioner/educator who embraces and reflects a broad, multi-cultural point- of-view. We are seeking an acting teacher/stage director in musical theatre who, through their work and mentorship, can equip our majors with the skills to develop their unique artistic voice, explore and expose oppressive structures and power dynamics within our culture and artform, and increase the incorporation of inclusive pedagogies in our classrooms. This artist should be an inventive storyteller, innovative teacher, and joyful colleague prepared to inspire our majors to become leaders in a more equitable theatre industry for the 21st century.

This position contributes to the research and creative activity for Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre and the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts at OU. As a director, this future colleague will lead University Theatre musical productions annually and will work collaboratively with student, faculty, and guest designers from the design and production area in the Helmerich School of Drama, and possibly on creative teams with colleagues from the OU School of Music and/or the OU School of Dance. . .

Along with teaching within the candidate’s specialization, this role may also serve to guide the School of Musical Theatre’s commitment to new works and serve as a mentor to student composers and lyricists. Additional areas of expertise may include non-Western performance techniques, especially from the African diaspora, Latinx, Asian, or Indigenous cultures, or specializations in works from a Feminist or Queer theatre perspective. A passion for Musical Theatre History and/or vocal styles is also welcome. . .

And in the “land acknowledgment” category, UO outdoes everyone else in this latest form of campus virtue-signaling:

Long before the University of Oklahoma was established, the land on which the University now resides was the traditional home of the “Hasinais” Caddo Nation and “Kirikirʔi:s” Wichita & Affiliated Tribes. We acknowledge this territory once also served as a hunting ground, trade exchange point, and migration route for the Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, and Osage nations.

Today, 39 tribal nations dwell in the state of Oklahoma as a result of settler and colonial policies that were designed to assimilate Native people. The University of Oklahoma recognizes the historical connection our university has with its indigenous community. We acknowledge, honor, and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this land. We fully recognize, support, and advocate for the sovereign rights of all of Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations. This acknowledgement is aligned with our university’s core value of creating a diverse and inclusive community. It is an institutional responsibility to recognize and acknowledge the people, culture, and history that make up our entire OU Community.

This is not an isolated example in Oklahoma public universities. A recent position for the English Department at the University of Central Oklahoma ran as follows:

Position Announcement:

The Department of English at the University of Central Oklahoma seeks to appoint a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor of English with specialization in Creative Writing (Poetry) . The department seeks a poet whose work significantly engages with issues of race/ethnicity, identity, and culture and who has a strong commitment to antiracist and social justice pedagogy. . .

Translation for both ads: Leftists only, please.

Oklahoma is a deep red state. When is the state legislature going to wake up and zero out all taxpayer funding for OU, which has decided to sign up with the left in its culture war against America?

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.