Hope that headline didn't get your hopes up too much.
But it is worth noting that trustees of another Baptist institution, in this case Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, assertively intervened and forced the president's resignation last week. The Rev. Dr. Phil Roberts resigned last Friday ahead of a specially-called trustee meeting to deal with questions about his leadership. Every indication is that this guy was simply not a competent administrator. He went through 11 financial officers in his 11 years at the helm of MBTS. He was evidently a notorious micromanager, used funds for ostensibly personal uses, and got the seminary involved in an expensive building program.
The last two presidential tenures have been disastrous, and MBTS is surely an attractive target for the SBC's badly-needed seminary contraction effort. I don't know enough to know whether MBTS differs in any substantial way from the other seminaries. Therefore it's safe to assume that it is a thoroughly fundamentalist institution. Unlike Southern and Southwestern, which used to actually be decent seminaries before the fundamentalists came in and absolutely destroyed them, I don't know if MBTS ever had pre-Takeover any "glory days," since it was only founded in 1957. It might have been a fledgling institution all along. They force faculty to sign the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, and every indication is that MBTS, like the other SBC seminaries, turned their backs on academic freedom, open inquiry, soul competency, and the liberty of the conscience long ago. Creedalism and fundamentalism seem to be the order of the day.
MBTS is not really any concern of ours. But it is heartening to know that even a SBC-elected fundamentalist board of trustees was willing to force some changes when they were truly necessary. Too often, cults of personality form around these leaders and the trustees are nothing more than a rubber stamp. Fortunately, that is NOT true in our case. Not all of our trustees are fundamentalists, and many of them surely have a loyalty to OBU's heritage and future that exceeds their loyalty to any one president (or convention leader who might influence their standing in BGCO circles).
Now we desperately need to engage OBU's trustees and demonstrate the urgent need for them to direct administrators to restore academic freedom, professors' right to teach, and students' right to learn. Like other Southern Baptist institution boards, OBU's trustees frequently cast unanimous votes to do whatever the administration wants. But eventually, we need some trustees to stand up and advocate for the heritage, reputation, and tradition that recent administrative actions have badly tarnished. We need them to know it's okay to oppose Baptist Building elites. Like the MBTS trustess who refused to allow the status quo to drag their institution down, we need OBU trustees to act by whatever means necessary to protect academic freedom at OBU and reverse the fundamentalist tide that is so dramatically deteriorating the quality of OBU's academic program.