Archive for the ‘OK Creativity Project’ Category

Some Old Ideas are New Again

March 5, 2008

By R. Steven Reynolds

Recently there has been some concern about the “Oklahoma Creativity Project”, so I decided to check it out.

The “Project” has a web site The Project was started with seed money from the Kirpatrick Foundation, a well-known philanthropic organization in Central Oklahoma since 1955. The Foundation has donated generously to the arts i.e. the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Omniplex, the Oklahoma City Civic Ballet, The OKC Zoological Park, Oklahoma City University and the National Cowboy and Western Museum. This foundation has merged the best and brightest minds from banking, industry, and education.

You can read about the organization yourself; I won’t bore you with details. Basically the Project wants to promote Oklahoma via creative thinking. I would sum it up as encouraging people to think “outside the box”.

Most of the concern about the Project seems to revolve around the nomination and appointment of V. Burns Hargis, Esq.. A short bio of Mr. Hargis can be located on KFOR radio’s website. Mr. Burns wants to incorporate the guidelines of the Project into the OSU educational system. This seems to be a worthwhile effort and one he believes in and is dedicated to, but I also see some short sighted thinking.

Any change in education cannot start at the top level and trickle down. It must start in pre-school and work it’s way up. Our education system today is failing our youth and this program could go a long way to revitalizing our education system and returning it to the best in the world.

The Project has good ideas based on challenging students to learn. It encourages educators to teach students how to learn, not what to learn. The education system today needs only to look to it’s past to see how liberals have taken learning out of education. The removal of phonics from the curriculum, the ignoring of civics, the teaching of life management, have all left our education a shambles.

We need to look back at the one-room schoolhouse. In that mixed environment students helped other students thereby fostering a sense of pride and community responsibility. Organized sports were not a part of education. Students learned the basics and then helped others. That system taught students from an early age how to share and work together.

V. Burns Hargis: "Creative" Solutions to Overcoming Legal Obstacles

February 22, 2008

HB 2297 which removes the restriction on colleges from hiring someone who has been on their board of regents in the last year, was approved by the OK House of Representative yesterday, and moves to the Senate.

If approved by the Senate, V. Burns Hargis may be able to get to work at OSU as its new president before July.

As part of his educational career, Burns Hargis has been very involved with the Oklahoma Creativity Project, which is a comprehensive approach to changing the thinking of Oklahomans:

Creativity is not merely the act of producing a creative work. Creativity is the language we use, the way we think, and our ability to solve the problems that need solving.

In the following video (click here or on the image below to view) on the State of Creativity Website, Burns Hargis explains how he is teaching his grandson about his hero, Theodore Roosevelt (leader of the progressive movement and the Progressive Party in the United States), and what Teddy Roosevelt stood for.

Burns Hargis May Not Wait until July

February 18, 2008

Updated 2/19/08.

House Bill 2297 would allow V. Burns Hargis to get to work right away instead of waiting until July. NewsOK reports:

State law prohibits a higher education regent from becoming president of an institution until the person has been off the board for a year. That means Hargis is unable to start as OSU president until July.

A committee amendment to House Bill 2297 reduces to six months the time a former regent hired by a university of college would have to wait to start employment.

The Daily O’Collegian reports that Benge, who sponsored the bill is enthusiastic:

House Speaker Chris Benge sponsored the amendment.

Benge, R-Tulsa, said if the committee’s response to the amendment is indicative of the House’s, the bill should pass easily.

“OSU has been without a president for so long that we feel like it’s important to get someone on board,” Benge said. “The president-elect, I know, is ready. We’re just trying to get him on board as soon as possible.”

His affiliation with one of the state’s major universities is helpful to one of Burns Hargis’ important projects, the participation in a world-wide endeavor known locally as the Oklahoma Creativity Project. Here is Burns Hargis discussing the project with The Oklahoman’s Ed Kelly:

V. Burns Hargis: A Cowboy for the World

February 12, 2008

From OSU:

PhotobucketOn December 4, 2007, the nine-member OSU/A&M Board of Regents voted unanimously to select Oklahoma civic and business leader V. Burns Hargis as the 18th President of Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the more than 32,000-student OSU system…

Hargis graduated from OSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting in 1967 and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma Law School in 1970. He was a candidate for the Republican nominee for Governor of Oklahoma in 1990. For the past 10 years, he has served as Vice Chairman of Bank of Oklahoma. He practiced law for 28 years and is recognized in the publications “Who’s Who in American Law” and “The Best Lawyers in America.” He also served as Chair of the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services. He is a former member of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents and a former member of the Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents is the governing board for OSU in Stillwater and the OSU System which includes the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences in Stillwater, OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, OSU-Tulsa, OSU-Oklahoma City, OSU-Okmulgee, the Cooperative Extension Service, the Agricultural Experiment Station, as well as Langston University in Langston, Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami.

Jenny Redden of the Daily O’Collegian, points out that Burns Hargis is OSU president without a Ph.D. in more than 80 years:

The OSU regents say they found Mr. Right in businessman Burns Hargis.

But his appointment as the next university president signals the end of a time when the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents would have settled for nothing less than Dr. Right.

Hargis will be OSU’s 18th president and the first since the 1920s without a Ph.D. when he starts in July.

The change may be the product of a national trend that shows states are providing less financing for public universities, many have said. (more)

Burns Hargis is being honored in April by the Oklahoma chapter of the Arthritis Foundation for, “commitment to the community and support of the state chapter’s mission to be a leader in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis,” according to

Boone Pickens has touted him as OSU’s David Boren, and is a prominent volunteer for the United Way.

As the chairman of the Oklahoma Creativity Project a world-wide effort, he has said:

The state of Oklahoma is on the forefront of a national movement to promote the development of creativity and innovation…By consciously working to celebrate and encourage innovation in commerce, education and culture, we will secure continued prosperity for all Oklahomans.