The university of oklahoma tulsa
OU Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture
About Us.
We believe that informed and engaged citizens are the foundation of a healthy and enduring democracy.

We organize and sponsor programs and activities that challenge citizens to deepen their engagement in the civic life of their own community as well as the global society of which we are a part.

The Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture exist to serve faculty, staff, and students of the University of Oklahoma, as well as the Tulsa area community. It was created over a decade ago on the OU-Tulsa campus. The Center is not an academic program, but rather is a resource that promotes global connections by the OU-Tulsa campus and involvement of Oklahoma citizens in important contemporary issues.

To achieve our objectives, we have developed a great variety of activities over the years. Most visible to the Tulsa area community are the public events we sponsor. These events are free and open to the public. You are invited to participate ...send an email to the Center Director at and let him know that you would like to be included on our invitation list, or call 918-660-3494.

Our speakers during the past year have included notables from the OU academic community, such as Dr. Kyle Harper, the OU-Norman Provost, and Dr. David Wrobel, OU Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, but have also included academics from other institutions. For example, 2018, we sponsored programs on both the Tulsa and Norman campuses featuring Dr. Mark Langevin, head of the Brazil Initiative at George Washington University.

We have also welcomed diplomats from the United States Department of State and from foreign countries. In 2017 we hosted the Ambassador to the United States from Afghanistan for activities on both the Norman and Tulsa campuses. Henry McLeish, a former member of the British Parliament and head of the government of Scotland, has been an annual visitor.

We have also presented authors such as Clifton Taulbert (“Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored”, and a dozen other books). Taulbert was our 2018 featured speaker for Black History Month. His talk was followed on subsequent weeks by a series of workshops on diversity issues in Oklahoma.

Local Oklahoma political leaders that have appeared on Center programs have included the mayors of Oklahoma's two biggest cities, plus judges, legislators, city council members, and others.

We continue to participate in a number of collaborations within Oklahoma, organizations such as the Tulsa Global Alliance. We have also worked together on projects with Tulsa Community College, the Oklahoma Historical Society, BookSmart Tulsa, as well as many other groups.

We also frequently organize events in cooperation with other organizations. For example, the Center sponsored several talks by Adm. William Crowe in Tulsa, and these were organized in cooperation with the University of Oklahoma International Programs Center on the Norman campus. Adm. Crowe was a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff and former Ambassador to Great Britain. A speech given by Prof. Gideon Biger of Tel Aviv University on the subject of future borders between Israel and a Palestine state was made possible through support of a local Tulsa Jewish organization (this talk is available in audio format from our podcast list at the iTunes store and can be downloaded to your iPad or iPod, or listened to online here).

We also share our speakers with other organizations in the Tulsa community, as well as with schools and universities.

We also have a history of global collaborations, such as in Brazil with the Associação Brasileira de Municípios and EduCidades, and in Honduras with the garífuna group, Organización de Desarrollo Étnico Comunitario (ODECO). For over 10 years we've been doing projects with Helsinki-España, a human rights organization in Spain. We also participated in education quality initiatives with the University of the Punjab in Pakistan, as well as with Lahore’s King Edward
Medical University.

Events organized and sponsored by the Center have often featured important figures who have grown in prominence following their visit to Oklahoma. One example is Henry McLeish, who has been a frequent visitor to the Center over the years. Mr. McLeish first came to Oklahoma when he was a member of the British Parliament, and later rose to serve as a member of the Cabinet under Prime Minister Tony Blair. When Scotland was allowed to reestablish the Scottish Parliament he was elected to that, and eventually rose to serve as First Minister of Scotland (head of government). Mr. McLeish is still a frequent visitor and guest of the Center. Another example is Juan Fernando López Aguilar who came to Oklahoma on a Center sponsored trip when he was a member of the Spanish parliament. A year or so later Mr. López Aguilar was named Justice Minister of Spain, and currently he serves as leader of his party's delegation from Spain in the European Parliament in Brussels.

We serve as the home of the
British Honorary Consulate
in Oklahoma.
photo courtesy of the Tulsa World
Prof. Rodger A. Randle, Director of the Center

In addition to teaching classes in the Department of Human Relations at the University of Oklahoma on the Tulsa campus and serving as Director of the OU Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture, Prof. Randle is active in numerous national and local organizations.

A full list of his past accomplishments and honors are provided in the biographies that are linked below.

Highlights of current activities:

Serves as Honorary British Consul in Oklahoma.

In the national Sister Cities program in the United States he is coordinator for partnerships with Brazil and the United Kingdom, and he has just completed a term on the Governance Committee of the national organization. He is also member of the Sister Cities Honorary Board of Directors.

He is a member of the Community Advisory Council of the Tulsa Public Schools.

Prof. Randle is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Oklahoma College of International Studies and he is a Bennett Fellow of the Oklahoma State University College of International Studies and Global Engagement.

He is an emeritus member of the Oklahoma Governor’s Economic Development Team.

He sits on the Advisory Board of Iron Gate, a Tulsa organization dedicated to the feeding the hungry.

(He is also activive in serval other organizations where he does not hold a formal leadership position.)

For a biographical history of Prof. Randle in English, Portuguese, or Spanish:

OU Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture

Prof. Rodger A. Randle, Director
The University of Oklahoma Tulsa
4502 East 41st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135