According to an article published by ADvindicate yesterday, Dr. Lee Greer, one of the main evolutionary biologists involved with the current debate over neo-Darwinism being promoted at LSU, has been fired by La Sierra University (Link). The article did not list any further details, but this may have been as a result of Dr. Greer signing an article with certain members of LSU’s school board, outside of the knowledge of President Wisbey or the rest of the board, entitled, “Joint Proposal of Individual La Sierra University Faculty and Trustees” back in October of 2011. The LSU administration was not at pleased and issued a response noting that the individuals who signed and published the document, without permission, “failed to recognize normal and established governance protocols…”
The La Sierra University Board of Trustees expressed its concern to the officers of the North American Division over the precipitous action taken to publicize the “Joint Proposal” without adequate prior consultation with the La Sierra University administration and board, especially in light of the ongoing discussions with Adventist Accrediting Association and Western Association of Schools and Colleges over issues of university governance and institutional autonomy (Link).
It is interesting to note, however, that Dr. Lee Grismer, also active in promoting neo-Darwinism to the exclusion of any support for the Adventist position on origins, also signed the “Joint Proposal” document. Yet, Dr. Grismer has so far been maintained by LSU – possibly because he is tenured, while Dr. Lee Greer is not or because he agreed to sign a statement of apology for his involvement with the “Joint Proposal” (see Lee Greer’s press release on this issue published by Spectrum on May 9, 2012).
Also, it seems like Randal Wisbey, President of La Sierra University, signed a $25 million dollar bond agreement with the State of California in 2008 (to include $17 million dollars to refinance the new Thaine B. Price Science Complex) where one of the stipulations of the bond was that no forms of “sectarian instruction” (presumably to include the active promotion of creationist or intelligent design concepts) would be presented within any of the buildings funded by the bond. It appears other Adventist schools have taken out state bonds as well, such as Loma Linda University (LLU). However, the restrictions associated these bonds are reportedly not as strongly opposed to the presentation of the Adventist position on origins as the language of the bond accepted by LSU appears to be.
In any case, it is no wonder that President Wisbey and the LSU administration have been so unwilling to work, in any kind of substantive manner, with efforts to reform the school when it comes to supporting the Adventist position on a literal six-day creation week within LSU’s science classrooms.
The consequences of failing to uphold the stipulations of the bond are that a lawsuit would be filed against LSU equivalent to the value of the bond. Yet, according to a statement put out by LSU (Link), President Wisbey, along with the Vice President for Financial Administration, David Geriguis, signed such a restrictive bond with the approval of LSU’s school board (though not all of the board members where aware of the restrictive language of the bond – according to one board member).
How is it not self-evident to anyone charged with oversight over the administration of one of our Adventist schools that they should not accept funds from anyone where strings are attached such that the very reason for the existence of our schools is significantly undermined?