Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wheaton professor denounces efforts to fire her - Chicago Tribune

"... Surrounded on Wednesday by about a dozen Wheaton faculty, alumni and students and dozens of other religious leaders, Hawkins said the college's audacity to question the sincerity of her faith made her question whether its allegiance to uninformed donors trumped its commitment to providing a rigorous Christian liberal arts education for students.

"I teach at a university that exudes a zeal not only for knowledge and for experience of Jesus but also for experience of the word — freedom of thought, freedom of action within the confines of our commitment to live charitably and righteously as Christians," she said. "While Wheaton College can signify that employees sign a statement of faith and adhere to it — and I do — they did not give me Jesus, and they can't take him away from me."

"... Some faculty members at Wheaton are as perplexed as Hawkins by the provost's decision to try terminating the tenured professor. Psychology professor Bill Struthers said many of the faculty at Wheaton could opt to teach elsewhere. They don't because they believe strongly in the school's faith-based mission, he said. Still, they have "legitimate reasons to be asking questions about the process."

"I've seen the administration act with great integrity on a number of occasions," he said. "That's why this seems so out of character."

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