Archive for May 3, 2008

This ain't Allstate, peopleLast year Oral Roberts University, the once pristine university known for its 60-foot high praying hands, had its megalomaniacial centric walls come crashing down in the flames of controversy with stories like this and this and even this.

And now, we have this AP story telling what many already knew – students are transferring and the school is $50 million in debt.

After countless stories come out about the scandal at ORU, which included:

  • Redecorating the Roberts’ estate (junior, not senior) each MONTH
  • A $60 million endowment fund cut in half, in only five years, leaving many students to guess where their average $17,500 tuition goes
  • Lindsay, evidently lonely, allegedly sending naughty text messages to male co-eds – on ORU-paid cell phones

Consider all of that, trustees and the school president quitting amid all this drama, and you would expect a few bright students to reconsider enrollment and find a nearby scholastic home in Norman or Stillwater (13 percent less, in fact).

Well, you would, right? Not if you are on staff at ORU.

Enjoy this spin control:

Oral Roberts spokesman Jeremy Burton said the decline has less to do with students leaving and more to do with fewer new ones enrolling.

Yeah, because when you want to appeal to new students, don’t say people aren’t leaving. Tell them no one cares to climb on board the Titanic while it’s sinking. Want another?

Interim school president Ralph Fagin (FAY-gin) says projected enrollment for the fall semester could be 150 students fewer than the 3,166 who attended last fall. Two employees requesting anonymity say the figure is around 400, or about 13 percent.

Note, the word “interim” is Latin meaning “in the midst of that.” Yeah, Fagin was thrown in the midst of this fire, and with sources already showing he is drinking the kool-aid, he will remain “interim” at ORU.

And even after the founder of Christian bookstore Mardel, Mart Green, donated a lifeboat of $70 million to ORU, Fagin hypothesized the following bit of brilliance:

“The message in the faculty meeting was, ‘Hey, we’re not on easy street just because we’ve got $70 million,'” said ORU interim president Ralph Fagin.

Easy Street? Not quite. Lombard? Possibly. With all of those crazy turns ORU has been taking, if I were a student, I would either get off the ride or prepare to hurl all over my penny loafers. Looks the student body needs to use those hands as an example and PRAY.