Ailes Signage Removed From Newsroom, Classroom< < Back to
The name of an ousted Fox News head who was sued by multiple women for sexual harassment claims was removed from the wall outside of the WOUB Newsroom.
OU President Roderick McDavis announced the move by the university at the Faculty Senate meeting on Monday night.
Before the meeting was even over, Facilities had already removed the placard and the name from the wall.
McDavis said having Roger E. Ailes’ name attached to the newsroom has become a “distraction” that “weighed heavily” on him and administration.
“I believe this to be an appropriate decision that is in alignment with our principled beliefs as a university community,” McDavis said to applause from the senate members.
More than $200,000 of Roger E. Ailes’ reported $500,000 donation to OU, made in 2007, helped renovate the journalism classroom and computer lab adjacent to the newsroom, along with the WOUB workspace.
McDavis said the donation money will be returned to Ailes. He said he is also working with administration on how to proceed with a scholarship named after Ailes, while not revoking the money from students currently benefitting from it
Questions about keeping Ailes’ name on the wall between the two rooms came after news that Ailes had allegedly sexually harassed multiple women while the head of Fox News. He has since resigned as head of the company.
Recently, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson settled her lawsuit against the company for $20 million and an unprecedented public apology from the company.
The Graduate Student Senate had previously voted to recommend the name be removed and the Faculty Senate were scheduled to vote on a similar resolution at Monday’s meeting.
Some senate members thanked him for the measure, including a professor in the Scripps School of Communication who teaches in the classroom next to the newsroom.
“I don’t know how I would have taught in that space another day,” Professor Mary Rogus said.
McDavis said he had listened to the concerns of the faculty and acknowledged Scripps College of Communication Dean Scott Titsworth for his assistance in the decision.
“Some people may criticize me for taking a long time to make a decision, but out of fairness to all, I wanted to be deliberative,” McDavis said.