OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s state House of Representatives has approved an appointment for an administrator at a public university.
The Oklahoma Democratic Party announced Monday that the state House will consider H.R. 4590, the Public Integrity Protection Act, which would make Oklahoma the second state in the country to require public universities to investigate complaints of inappropriate behavior by employees and to hold public officials accountable for the behavior of those they appoint.
The bill passed the House on a 17-8 vote, with three Republicans joining all Democrats to vote against it.
Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick and Democrat Sen. Jeff Miller, both members of the Republican majority, sponsored the bill, along with two other Democrats, Representative Mike Turner and Representative David Johnson.
The proposal comes after a number of controversies over the past several months involving university administrators and allegations of sexual misconduct against several high-ranking officials.
In May, the Associated Press reported that a former Oklahoma state university official and several other current and former administrators were charged with multiple felonies after allegedly exchanging nude photos of students and other staff in a dorm room.
Several former state administrators have also been indicted in the case.
In August, the Department of Education issued a letter to public universities and community colleges that said many universities are failing to properly investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct and that the agency was looking for ways to make campuses safer.