The entire faculty Senate at an evangelical college in Massachusetts resigned in protest after an LGBT-activist professor was denied a promotion – a move she alleged was motivated by her condemnation of the school’s biblical policy on homosexuality.
The exodus included the seven key members serving on Gordon College’s staff – tenured professors in leadership roles who do not hold to the school’s biblical teachings on sexuality and moral behavior.
“All seven faculty members of Gordon College’s Faculty Senate resigned from senatorship on Wednesday, citing ongoing disagreement with the administration over shared governance, specifically in the processes of approving faculty promotion,” the college campus’s newspaper, The Tartan, announced. “Professor Ivy George, the Senate chair prior to the resignations, read a letter outlining the decision at an all-faculty meeting. Also resigning were fellow professors Tim Sherratt, Bruce Herman, Bryan Auday, Irv Levy, Steve Hunt and Jonathan Senning.”
Pro-LGBT or bust …
Gordon College Vice President of Communications Rick Sweeney announced that the Senate’s decision to leave appeared to be final.
“Provost [Jane] Curry was provided with a copy of a letter from the Senate when they met with her a few hours before the faculty meeting,” Curry wrote in an email, according to The Tartan. “They were not open to further discussion on their decision, which they announced to their faculty colleagues at the end of the regular monthly meeting late Wednesday afternoon.”
The Christian news media went further to divulge through Sweeney’s statements that school officials and top faculty members reached a bottleneck in their debate over the issue of embracing the LGBT culture on campus.
“In their verbal statement to faculty colleagues, the chairperson affirmed the authority and decision-making role of the administration, but said she felt the senators could not reconcile divergent views on the process and could no longer be effective in their roles,” Sweeney explained, according to The Christian Post (CP).
According to the school paper, Senators – who are full professors in good standing who were elected by the faculty – are responsible for dealing with “faculty personnel issues, including the process of promotion, hiring, tenure, three- and six-year reviews, dismissals, sanctions and appeals … they serve three-year terms and are elected in the Spring.”
The Tartan also reported that those attending the meeting indicated the extent of what the Senate chair disclosed during the mass resignation.
“[T]he letter read by George stated that the Faculty Senate feels that Provost Curry and President Lindsay, as administration members involved in academic affairs, had not been upholding the guidelines concerning the promotion of junior faculty as provided in the Gordon College Ainistrative/Faculty Handbook in a clear and respectful manner,” the student-run paper disclosed.
Curry responded by insisting that even though school administration and the Senate did not see eye-to-eye regarding the biblical foundations and tenets that govern the college, she had no hard feelings.
“I want to thank the Senate for their service,” Curry said in her address at the conclusion of the all-faculty meeting, according to The Tartan. “Obviously, my perspective and interpretation of the situation is very different than theirs, and I will need some time to explore how we bridge the gap in perspectives.”
The spokesperson for the college also made it clear at the meeting that preserving the integrity of Christian principles on campus will always be paramount.
“All of us care deeply about Gordon and its mission and future,” Sweeney declared at meeting. “Both the provost and the College’s leadership will take some time to be able to respond constructively to this decision.”
The name of the teacher at the center of the debate was reportedly not brought up during the meeting.
“[N]o specific decision or faculty member was cited in the resignation letter,” CP’s Samuel Smith reported.
Getting to the heart of the issue
Even though she was not specifically mentioned by name during the final meeting of resignation, the Bay State’s largest paper noted that the LGBT-activist professor at issue made her qualm with the school known with state officials.
“In a complaint to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Margaret DeWeese-Boyd, an assistant professor of sociology, asserts that the college president and provost denied her a promotion to full professor because she has openly criticized the policy since 2013,” the Boston Globe reported last week.
She reportedly took on the role as a political activist on campus to pressure school administration – and influence students – into embracing the LGBT lifestyle at Gordon.
“DeWeese-Boyd says she has spoken against the ban at a faculty meeting, signed a petition opposing it, organized trainings and events related to gay rights, and directly addressed Gordon’s president, D. Michael Lindsay, about the school’s stance,” the Globe’s Michael Levenson explained.
Another Massachusetts daily indicated that Gordon College dealt with a similar situation with another faculty member in recent months – a disagreement that eventually took the form of a lawsuit.
“Last year, associate philosophy professor Lauren Barthold filed a civil rights suit accusing college officials of demoting her and threatening to fire her for speaking out against the LGBT policy,” Salem News reported. “She eventually agreed to a confidential settlement and resigned.”
Apparently, the pushback was in response to Gordon College’s bold stand that it took several years ago, telling the Obama administration that it would not be forced to compromise its fundamental values as Christian higher learning institution by being forced to hire personnel who practice or promote homosexual behavior that runs against the biblical tenets taught and encouraged on campus.
“The trigger for the controversy was a letter Lindsay and several other Christian leaders and groups signed in 2014 to then-President Barack Obama,” Salem News Staff Writer John Castelluccio reported. “The letter asked for a religious exemption to an order barring federal contractors from discriminating in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.