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Oklahoma Free Speech Committee

Home ¬Ľ About the State System of Higher Education ¬Ľ Oklahoma Free Speech Committee

At their Oct. 27, 2022, meeting, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) approved a new policy section establishing the Oklahoma Free Speech Committee to the OSRHE. Formation of this new committee reflects provisions of House Bill 3543, authored by Rep. Chad Caldwell, which was signed into law during the 2022 regular legislative session.

Statutorily defined duties of the Oklahoma Free Speech Committee include:

  • Reviewing free speech policies of State System institutions.
  • Reviewing free speech training of State System institutions.
  • Making recommendations to State System institutions about improvements to free speech policies and training.
  • Developing a process of collecting complaints of free speech violations at State System institutions and advising complainants of their rights.
  • Reviewing any free speech complaints filed with the committee.
  • Developing or identifying a First Amendment training to be required every two years of all college deans, department heads and campus personnel responsible for establishing free speech policies or handling free speech complaints.

2022-23 OSRHE Chair Michael C. Turpen has appointed the following individuals to serve on the Oklahoma Free Speech Committee:

  • Andy Lester, Attorney/Partner, Spencer Fane LLP (Committee Chair)
  • Chad Caldwell, Oklahoma House of Representatives, District 40
  • Valerie Couch, Professor/Dean Emeritus, Oklahoma City University School of Law
  • Kay Floyd, Oklahoma State Senate, District 45
  • Dr. Raul Font, President, Latino Community Development Agency
  • Dr. Rick Hall, Adjunct Faculty Member, University of Oklahoma
  • Mariana Pitts, Attorney, Stump & Associates
  • Tesia Zientek, Education Director, Citizen Pottawatomi Nation
  • Jeffrey W. Hickman, State Regent

For more information about the Oklahoma Free Speech Committee, contact us at