Tuesday, February 12, 2013

OBU Winter 2013 Trustee Meeting: Joys & Concerns

Now that the spring semester is well underway on Bison Hill, Save OBU will be returning to a more active blogging schedule.  We hope you saw last week's post on Tom Terry's OBU history speech in Raley Chapel.  Also, check out our story about J. Edgar Hoover's visit to OBU in 1938!  We've had a lot of web traffic in recent days, particularly from other evangelical colleges that are contending with fundamentalist encroachment.  Thanks to the friends and supporters who have sent emails, including a member of the Raley family!  And thanks as well to our new Facebook and Twitter followers.

Winter Trustee Meeting
Last Friday, OBU's BGCO-elected Board of Trustees met on campus.  There were no bombshells, and in our case, no news is definitely good news.  The university's P.R. writeup reports a number of exciting happenings around campus, which we celebrate.
We are particularly heartened to learn of an OBU anthropology professor being granted Senior Faculty Status (OBU's version of tenure).  Several insiders had been concerned that some administrator(s) may use the tenure as a weapon again, either against this individual or against the anthropology department.  After all, it's not a huge leap from "Philosophy leads to critical thought which leads away from fundamentalism. so let's get rid of philosophy and replace it with Christian apologetics" to "Anthropology leads to cultural relativism and anyway and all we need to know about other cultures is how to convert them, so let's get rid of anthropology and hire another missionary." So, we celebrate.
A widely-loved and long-serving OBU scientist was granted leave for next academic year to work on research for NASA.  Of course, we celebrate this, too.  But given recent history, we fervently hope there is no effort afoot to purge this scientist.  After all, gravity is just a "theory," and certain other scientific theories have fallen out of favor with some of OBU's newest administrators and faculty...

Moving Forward
While the bleeding seems to have subsided at OBU, at least for the moment, there are more problems elsewhere in evangelical academia than I can keep up with.  (See a brilliantly-titled Patheos blog post, "No one expects and evangelical inquisition.")  I am currently in talks with constituents of several of these institutions to find guest writers who will provide reports for us.  Later this week, I'll introduce an alumna of Cedarville University (OH) who happens to be a freelance journalist.  She's working on an in-depth series on Cedarville's Takeover.  It will be instructive to learn from CU's story and hope we can avoid some of the traps.  And, of course, this will help fulfill our mission to join in solidarity with other evangelicals who value academic freedom and ethical administration.


  1. According to the Dean of Science and Mathmatics the beloved scientist will only be on leave for a semester and will be back for the Spring 2014 semester

    1. Yes, but (and the situations are of course different), the last time a tenured faculty member who no longer needed the free tuition for his child went on sabbatical, it was the end of the show for him. Nothing would surprise me at this point.


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