Most students who are protesting are doing so anonymously, citing an "authoritarian" atmosphere that has descended on the ORU campus like a thick cloud since news of the scholarship controversy hit the press.
"Sure, we're intimidated," declared a student from the East Coast. "We have strong feelings but don't feel free to speak out."
Several students told a reporter that at the semester's opening chapel service (all ORU students are required to attend), Oral Roberts told them not to grumble, warning: "Keep your cotton-pickin' mouth shut!"
Declared Hall, the lawyer counseling the disgruntled students: "This guy (Oral) is perfectly capable of kicking them out" of school.
One student willing to talk for the record was John Dingilian, 23, an ORU undergraduate and second-year medical student whose father is an officer in Hayford's church.
Dingilian, who signed the revised contract, said that as a single student, the cut from $23,500 to $20,000 in his scholarship money this year "doesn't affect me badly . . . but I can see how those (students) with families would have problems."
"I know I'm at risk (in) talking to the media," he added, "but I'm not a belligerent student. . . . I like the post-residency program (under the new contract). It leaves a little more latitude, since it allows me to do inner-city work in this country."
High Debt, Falling Income
Roberts' publications have reported that the medical complex has been a constant financial drain since it opened in 1981. Roberts has said he needs $4.5 million a month just to maintain the evangelistic ministry, ORU, and the City of Faith Hospital which he has vainly tried to sell. Last December, according to students present at an ORU chapel service, Roberts announced the ministries were $28 million in debt.
Indeed, annual ministry income has fallen at least $30 million from the $88 million raised in 1980, according to several published sources. Jan Dargatz, Roberts' ministry spokeswoman, declined to cite any figures, saying only: "We are holding our own since January of 1988."
Meanwhile, obsolescence, attrition and economy measures are pinching the empire of Oral and Richard Roberts.
Their weekly television show has been cut back to cable only because of declines in donations. Last November, Richard Roberts told the Tulsa Tribune the ministry had sold four Mercedes Benz cars that had been driven by Roberts family members.
And in February, a posh Beverly Hills home used by the Robertses was sold for $3.25 million. The house, which had been part of the ORU endowment fund, turned an $825,000 profit for the school over the 1982 purchase price of $2.4 million.
According to ORU Regent Hayford, the Internal Revenue Service had asked that the lavish 17-room residence be sold because the investment appeared to benefit the Robertses personally.
Godfrey, the former ORU physiology professor, said his department--one of five in the medical school's two-year basic-science program--had declined from 10 faculty members to two over the last several years. Replacement efforts have been unsuccessful, he said in a telephone interview, adding that at least three professors had also left the anatomy department recently.
Equipment in the basic science areas is becoming obsolete or wearing out and is not being replaced, Godfrey said.
"There are still a lot of good people there, but . . . it is not out of the realm of possibility that it (the medical school) could fall on its face or lose accreditation."
So far, the school remains fully accredited, according to Dr. Harry Jonas, secretary for the American Medical Assn.'s national accrediting body. Jonas and other members of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education made a special visit to the campus in June after medical students wrote the AMA, asking it to investigate the missionary scholarship program and other problems.
Jonas would not comment on the committee's findings but said a full written report will be presented late next month to Oral Roberts and Edwards, the medical school's dean. Whether any portion of the report is released, Jonas said, "is up to them."