KGOU

Jacob McCleland

KGOU News Director

Jacob joined the KGOU News department in March 2015; previously he spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Spanish from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Jacob warns us he won't answer the phone when the St. Louis Cardinals are playing a postseason game. Fun fact: his high school mascot is the Appleknocker.

Ways to Connect

Mark Twain Elementary second grade teacher Elizabeth Clarke staples together work from two of her second-grade students in this 2013 photo.
Chase Cook / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma school districts won’t be able to automatically deduct teachers’ union fees from their paychecks if Gov. Mary Fallin signs a bill that was passed by the Senate last week. The legislation has drawn the ire of educators and some Republicans.

Levi Pettit, center, walks into the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City with state senator Anastasia Pittman and pastor J.A. Reed, Jr.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

One of the two Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members who was expelled from the University of Oklahoma for participating in a racist chant apologized on Wednesday. Levi Pettit spoke with black politicians, pastors and community leaders for about two hours and later addressed the press at the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in northeast Oklahoma City, but Pettit would not reveal how he learned the infamous chant.

The exterior of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on the University of Oklahoma campus, shortly before the letters were removed from the building March 9, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The executive director of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national office announced plans Wednesday morning to combat racism and insensitivity within the fraternity at a press conference in Chicago.

Those steps include the hiring of an executive director of diversity and inclusion, a mandatory online diversity and education program for all SAE members and staff,  a national advisory committee on diversity and inclusion, and establishment of a confidential hotline to report offensive, inappropriate or illegal behavior.

Duct tape with the word "Unheard" covers the mouth of the Seed Sower statue on the University of Oklahoma's South Oval
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A small group of black students at the University of Oklahoma were thrust into the national spotlight last week after a video surfaced of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members singing a racist chant.

In the days after that video surfaced, member of black social justice group Unheard seemed to be everywhere, including CNN, ABC and NPR.

U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.)
Flickr

U.S. Senator James Lankford probably won’t vote in favor of the confirmation of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.

The Republican from Oklahoma lauded Lynch’s work as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, but her statements on immigration have raised some concerns for him.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Too few peers in the classroom. A lack of minority professors. Insensitive jokes. These were a few of the issues raised at a race and diversity town hall forum on Wednesday night at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. The forum was hosted by Unheard and the Price College of Business.

Demonstrators gather outside Evans Hall on the University of Oklahoma campus Monday morning to protest the video with racist chants allegedly by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Updated 8:05 p.m.: Apologies from two students involved

Two students involved in the video where a bus full of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members participated in a chant with racial slurs and derogatory language against African-Americans apologized in separate statements Tuesday evening.

The Dallas Morning News reports both teens are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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