LSU statement regarding resignations and Bradley’s email

The following statement appears to only be published at Spectrum. According to Spectrum, this statement from La Sierra University was released at 3 pm Tuesday.

Last Friday, four members of our campus family tendered their resignations at the request of our board chair. Each one had the choice of submitting his resignation or having the details of the situation in which he was involved presented to the Board of Trustees for discussion and action. All four chose to resign.

The university has a duty to all of its employees and students to follow appropriate policies and procedures in dealing with disciplinary matters. Part of this duty is to respect the privacy of the individuals involved. Even in the face of highly inaccurate and destructive speculation, policy and Christian courtesy require us to release information with great care. Institutions carefully work out policies in advance for just such circumstances so that they will act wisely and responsibly when the need arises.

Dr. Gary Bradley has chosen to email a letter to a wide circle of friends and colleagues that shares certain information about the circumstances leading to the request for his resignation. His letter, posted with his permission by a friend on the internet, acknowledges a recording made of a conversation among friends. He later provided the information, also posted online, clarifying that the recording was recorded by accident by one of the participants in the conversation. That person was also responsible for sending the recording out, apparently not realizing what he was sending. The content of the recording has not been disclosed by Dr. Bradley or the university.

While the university understands Dr. Bradley’s desire to explain what happened, the result of the letter has been further confusion and anger directed by some at the Church and at the university. People have made serious allegations without knowing what the recording contained and its context.

In an effort to reduce some of the most inaccurate speculation, the university released a statement on Monday stating that the matter at hand was not part of the biology controversy, and that no students were involved. This is correct. Despite Dr. Bradley’s letter and the unfortunate way it has shaped the debate, the university will only release additional information as appropriate according to both policy and Christian courtesy

When people in highly visible positions who have long served an institution are asked to resign, many questions naturally arise. One reason for these questions is the disconnect that colleagues, friends, alumni, and students sense. “How could it be that someone I have known and respected for years is suddenly asked to resign? That can’t be right!” It is important to emphasize that their resignations, while sad, in no way invalidate their years of valuable service to the university and to our students.

Because La Sierra University has been the center of the biology debate in the Church for several years, it is also easy for people who do not know the facts to jump to the conclusion that these resignations must be related to that issue. Some have taken it further, blaming the Church for carrying out a biology-related “witch hunt” by asking these individuals to resign. This is simply not true. The “convenient” explanation is sometimes the wrong one.

The board and administration of La Sierra University understand the frustration of the public when details about a situation such as this are not quickly forthcoming. We ask for your understanding and patience as we work the process through to the appropriate conclusions. And we ask for your prayers on behalf of the individuals involved, the university, our students, and our Church.

Here is Gary Bradley’s email referenced in the statement:

To: My treasured friends and colleagues
From: Gary Bradley
6-12-11

On Friday, June 10, 2011, I signed a letter resigning from the faculty position that I have enjoyed for 39 years. Since such an action always precipitates much speculation and many rumors, I want you to know exactly what happened and why.

Recently a secret tape of a private conversation among four friends was released and distributed widely in the SDA church hierarchy. A professional transcript of that tape was prepared, albeit with some mistakes in identifying the speaker. I participated in that conversation, was confronted therewith in the Friday meeting, and agreed with much, but not all, of what was ascribed to me. This conversation has already been mischaracterized and is being used in further attempts to discredit La Sierra University.

I signed the resignation letter that had been prepared for me for two reasons. First, I believe that the best way for La Sierra University to come through this fiasco is for a “head to roll.” Second, I admitted to consuming a small glass of an alcoholic beverage during this conversation. On the first count, everything I have tried to do for the past 39 years has been to help La Sierra University to succeed. On the second count, I can only say mea culpa.

Needless to say, I am devastated. I feel like my very soul has been ripped from my body. My entire life since I began teaching 46 years ago has been dedicated to Adventist education. I’m not ready to quit and I grieve the loss of the classroom where I have had such rewarding interactions with the wonderful people who are my students. I have many important projects underway here now and many other people will be inconvenienced by my sudden departure. I can only say that I am deeply sorry and will try my utmost to earn redemption.

If you are among those who welcome this transition, I request that you celebrate with dignity. If you are among those who find this transition upsetting, I ask that you not turn it into a war. Please continue to do what you can to make La Sierra University the best and most progressive SDA university in the world.

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134 thoughts on “LSU statement regarding resignations and Bradley’s email

  1. Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: So, you’ve been brainwashed by Kent and see things his way, heh?

    FYI, I don’t know who “Professor Kent’s Student” is, and have some reason to doubt the individual knows me personally.

    What I do know is that I am finished with this website for the time being. I am sick and tired of the gossip and bullying that goes on here endlessly. This is the biggest embarrassment to God’s cause I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Bash on.

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  2. I ask Shane and others–are we under a “gag order” now?

    If so, then take this topic down and stop sharing information about what is going on. Leave us all “in the dark” and see how things can really become chaotic.

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  3. Ron&#032Nielsen: I am not surprised at the witch hunt because I have seen it over and over again in the Adventist church. Kellogg, Jones and Wagner, Ford, Brimsmead, Numbers, Standish, and many others. Our president recently asked every member in the church to speak up for religious liberty. How can you ask civil governments to grant religious liberty if you are not willing to grant religious liberty within the church?

    Ron Nelson apparently is not fully aware of the definition of religious liberty.

    Forbidding a given Christian entity to weed out its own apostates is a denial of religious liberty to that organization. At present we are free to disfellowship or to refuse admitance to those who do not hold to our doctrines.

    But if the government were to step in and deny us that right – they would be restricting religious liberty.

    You have the freedom to preach against once saved always saved — you do NOT have the civil authority to force Baptists to pay you for doing so, nor can you force them to grant you membership. And if you did have that civil power and used it in that way you would be denying them their religious liberties.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  4. @Jim, Are they gonna sue Adventist Spectrum also? Read Bonnie Dwyer’s article there, mentioning the same thing I have, and she and Spectrum SUPPORT these guys!

    If you disagree, please read the Spectrum articles over the past two years and the majority of the posts there.

    It seems to me that if anyone is sued, it’s gonna be Darnell, since he recorded the stuff and sent it out for evaluation.

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  5. Jim: The fact is, Ron, the information on the recording is not AT ALL your business or the business of anyone else (save the principals directly in the situation), no matter how interesting or salacious you or anyone else may find it to be.

    @Jim, Well, it seems as though it has been “made” the business of just about everyone, even those at Spectrum, AT, and here.

    It IS my “business” when our SDA schools, churches, and other institutions are infiltrated by those who want to tear down our bible-based beliefs and then teach such to our SDA students.

    Maybe it isn’t YOUR business, and perhaps you don’t care what happens at our schools and in our churches, but those who have some integrity for God’s Word and our denomination DO.

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  6. The story where Jesus wrote in the sand comes to mind. None of us are perfect, all have sinned and fallen short. All of our hearts have sinful natures and if disclosed in similar circumstances what is the result? I hope pride can be set aside and God will continue to provide wisdom to the greatest heights and depths to our leaders. Also great respect our leaders deserve. When one example could set the stage for others. I am not informed of the situation. What a reminder: to open and close our mouths with great care! Any one of us can be more effective giving our cares & concerns quietly to God instead of gathering in similar small group discussions. Just some thoughts.

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  7. Ron Stone said “Well, Prof, I have listened to them, and I disagree completely from your Pollyanna analysis.”

    I don’t think anyone takes your opinions very seriously. I downloaded the recordings when Shane posted them last week and after listening to them I concur completely with Dr. Kent’s assessment. The conversation was nowher near as disrespectful as your typical comments. Some blog comments from Mary Hilde in 2008 are circulating and they were just as if not more so vulgar and disrespectful.

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  8. Holly&#032Pham: I have recently been able to hear these recordings, and I was actually shocked at the disparaging remarks and profanity made by these LSU administrators and staff, not only at the GC representatives, but at fellow staff and board members. Are these men typical of the rest of the LSU staff? I would hope not!

    According to Kent – he heard the audio and then concluded that the discussion was pretty much average for what he is used to and he does not see why anyone would object.

    In my opinion his statement says more about his own view of right and wrong than it does about the content of the tape.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  9. Jim: Ron, I believe Shane is ‘up to speed’ on his responsibilities and any potential problems, as well as with his duty to monitor those posting on his site. I suspect Bonnie Dwyer and those over at Spectrum are also aware of their responsibilities, and the potential problems they can face from information they or others post on their site. Regardless though, it is not your or my responsibility to tell them what to do (or not to do).I think it is safe to say that any information posted here should fully comply with all posting guidelines, and direct references to information that may still legally be considered private (and obviously any statements that may be considered possibly defamatory) should certainly be avoided–and especially so on this site, since most of us are presumably wanting to lead Spirit-filled and Christlike lives in every way possible, regardless of the actions of those around us.

    So, Jim, are we under a “gag order?” And who ordered it? You? Shane? LSU? The Board? The GC?

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  10. Dr. Stone,

    In both of your responses to me, you’ve made my point MORE relevant, not less.

    PLEASE READ WHAT I WROTE MORE CAREFULLY. I said THE SPECIFIC DETAILS of what was said on the recording are not any of your business, or the business of anyone else, besides the actual principals.

    None of us are principals with anything to do directly with any of the specific contents of the recording.

    I didn’t say the overall situation at LSU didn’t have a legitimate impact on many of the rest of us. There are many parts of the creation/evolution dialogue that are certainly worthwhile to be discussing in a public forum.

    I was simply pointing out that any effort to gossip about any possibly salacious details of the actual recorded private conversation was simply not any of your concern, or that of anyone else.

    Unless your explicit desire and intent is to continue to feed the prurient interests of yourself and others, you (and everyone else) should focus your interests elsewhere. What other people may irresponsibly do or say does NOT give you or anyone else the license to behave likewise. We should be better people than that.

    In closing, I would point out the following: NO ONE (again, except the principals in the matter) should even be listening to the recording. What possible good, or value, can listening actually have? The individuals involved have already been confronted with the details, and decisions have been made and actions taken.

    At this point it can only be morbid curiosity and a very unholy prurient motivation that would drive someone to even listen to the details, let alone insist on gossiping about them all over the internet.

    Please, just stop–for your own sake as well as the sake of others.

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  11. Says not related to evolutionary problem, not a “witch hunt” so I guess Bradley just got caught, as did Capone and OJ, for some “other” reason. Wow! Whoda thunk it?

    However, we are thus still left with the problem that we have been debating for two years. What about “evolution as fact?”

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  12. Was there any repentance here, or just the fact that he was caught doing something he shouldn’t have, and having to reap the dire results? I doubt that he is done drinking “that little glass of alcohol” from his statements. Just my opinion however. Yes, the other problem still remains, doesn’t it? Another thought, can a lifetime of good works atone for one wrong act?

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  13. Just a note: No one put a gun to the head of any of the four individuals that resigned. I see that they were told that if they did not resign, their comments would be shared with the board. What’s so bad about that? If these comments were actually harmless and trivial, why would they care if the board heard them. I suspect that the comments were probably quite damaging and perhaps actionable. It was their choice to resign. In the end, they have reaped what they have sown.

    The accidental recording of the private meeting was unfortunate for them. Perhaps their damaging speech and poor judgement were influenced by a mind clouded by the effects of alcohol coursing through their veins. This is why our Creator demands that we abstain from its use.

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  14. To Dr. Bradley:
    It was with sadness I read of your resignation. I don’t know all the details but i do know how judgmental some people can be when you make a mistake. You helped me immensely when I came to LSU. You gave me courage to succeed at my dreams, which you never knew. This is one person who wont pass judgment because in the end none of us are perfect. Its usually the Pharisees that like to point the fingers. Move forward and don’t become bitter because you are not through yet! God Bless you

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  15. I am deeply saddened by what has happened to Dr. G. Bradley. For four years he has been my professor, my mentor and my dear friend. I wish the situation would have been handled differently. None of us are saints and, of course, it is much easier to see a speck in a brother’s eye… LSU just lost one of its truly best professors. I owe a lot to Dr. Bradley, including the knowledge that I acquired at LSU and my academic success. I will be forever thankful for his support, his genuine desire to teach and his dedication to educate future specialists in various fields. Thank you Dr. Bradley, you have taught me to be a better man. My respect for you will always remain the same.

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  16. Mark&#032Bruno: Just a note: No one put a gun to the head of any of the four individuals that resigned. I see that they were told that if they did not resign, their comments would be shared with the board. What’s so bad about that? If these comments were actually harmless and trivial, why would they care if the board heard them. I suspect that the comments were probably quite damaging and perhaps actionable. It was their choice to resign. In the end, they have reaped what they have sown.The accidental recording of the private meeting was unfortunate for them. Perhaps their damaging speech and poor judgement were influenced by a mind clouded by the effects of alcohol coursing through their veins. This is why our Creator demands that we abstain from its use.

    You’re correct. If the tapes were just a few “harmless” statements said “in jest” why would these guys resign. Doesn’t make any sense,and I need to hear the tapes for myself to think otherwise.

    Anybody got a copy?

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  17. The boards actions are most interesting. Four people are terminated over a recording. What about previous recordings and administrative comments. The board should be just as quick in reacting to those issues.

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  18. BobRyan: It is very interesting that the four in question were instantly aware of the problem of that audio getting out to the board – to the point of resigning and yet we have some here who still do not understand the gravity of the problem EVEN when they hear the audio!

    Jeff’s commentary on the recordings just doesn’t match up with the reaction of the individuals recorded or board.

    Are seriously to believe that the four chose to resign over alcohol? No. Their concern was over what was on the recording. Bradley was retiring soon so his resignation probably didn’t have as much of a career impact as the other three, well except for the board member.

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  19. Shelley&#032Senner: Was there any repentance here, or just the fact that he was caught doing something he shouldn’t have, and having to reap the dire results? I doubt that he is done drinking “that little glass of alcohol” from his statements. Just my opinion however. Yes, the other problem still remains, doesn’t it? Another thought, can a lifetime of good works atone for one wrong act?

    Bradley’s statement reveals the arrogance and hypocrisy he has stood for over the past decades. Read it for yourself.

    Just a “little” glass or bottle of alcohol? He’s a prototype example of the kind of “Adventist” we, out here in California, tolerate–one who is “Adventist” in name only, while he desecrates our standards while teaching these things to our young people.

    If you don’t believe me, come out here this summer, visit some of our “progressive” SDA Churches and see what you think. I’ll provide the names of some “doozies” if you need them.

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  20. Roy: Not to add insult to injury. But he says that he feels as though his soul has been ripped from his body?Please refer to the Genesis account sir. ….and man became a living soul or being. There are three ingredients that make up the living being. They cannot stand alone from one the other.

    Bradley admits to being essentially an SDA in name only. Don’t you think he has other beliefs besides “evolution as fact” that contradicts our bible-based SDA beliefs?

    According to progressive mantras, essentially nothing is “salvational” meaning one can believe almost anything and it doesn’t really have any effect on one’s “salvation.”

    If you think I’m nuts, go to Spectrum and read numerous comments backing this idea.

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  21. Professor&#032Kent: Mark and Shane, if you have not listened to the recordings (and it’s obvious to me you have not), you do not know what you are talking about. And you know it.

    Well, Prof, I have listened to them, and I disagree completely from your Pollyanna analysis.

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  22. Does anyone know what Bradley meant by doing his best to “earn redemption?” It was quoted from his letter printed in Dwyer’s article on Spectrum.

    Perhaps he does realize he’s done something wrong? Why would he need any redemption, unless he admits to wrongdoing?

    Is he gonna stop drinking booze? Stop “badmouthing” his “superiors” at LSU, the Board, or the GC? I don’t think he’s gonna stop teaching “evolution as fact” is he?

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  23. I also for one don’t believe that drinking alcohol during his conversation was enough to get Bradley fired/resigned. Possibly though this issue had been addressed with him in the past. My father was a professor at an Adventist higher ed. institution. He would drink alcohol at a local restaurant frequented by students. He was asked by the provost to limit his drinking to home and not public places (by the way this was not a Californina Adventist University). My father understood the institutions stance/beliefs and chose to resign with little resentment towards the school. I believe it was wrong of my father to drink – especially in public places with his position. I am not judging his salvation but yes I am indeed judging his actions. I love my father. We can condemn Bradley’s and others actions and still love him also. By the way, students loved my father during his many years of teaching – which also does not condone his actions.

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  24. Greg&#032W: I read this at Spectrum:
    Jesus drank wine, said a few things that offended others, and certainly criticised administrators. He was not even a vegetarian! But was never asked to “resign”…

    The word for wine that is used for the feast at Cana is equivalent to our phrase “grape beverage” context determines whether it was alcoholic or not. The same is true for the last supper. (Which is part of the feast of unleavend bread – so it had to be fresh juice at the time.)

    The issue in this case goes far beyond “criticised administrator” it goes to vulgar language, positions opposed to the doctrines of the church on creation, unchristian disrespect for others at a level that is not shown here towards the 4 who left even by their detractors.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  25. Please, just stop–for your own sake as well as the sake of others.

    @Jim, Your wish has been answered! Shane has just informed me that Bob Ryan and myself are now officially BANNED from Educate Truth.

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  26. Professor&#032Kent&#8217s&#032Student: Ron Stone said “Well, Prof, I have listened to them, and I disagree completely from your Pollyanna analysis.”I don’t think anyone takes your opinions very seriously. I downloaded the recordings when Shane posted them last week and after listening to them I concur completely with Dr. Kent’s assessment. The conversation was nowher near as disrespectful as your typical comments. Some blog comments from Mary Hilde in 2008 are circulating and they were just as if not more so vulgar and disrespectful.

    I have recently been able to hear these recordings, and I was actually shocked at the disparaging remarks and profanity made by these LSU administrators and staff, not only at the GC representatives, but at fellow staff and board members. Are these men typical of the rest of the LSU staff? I would hope not!

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