Comment on “Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU by Steve.
It seems to me that the WASCs standards if applied fairly would cause great problems in many institutions. Take CFR 1.4 for example, â€œThe institution publicly states its commitment to academic freedom for faculty, staff and students, and acts accordingly. This commitment affirms that those in the academy are free to share their convictions and responsible conclusions with their colleagues and students in their teaching and in their writing.â€
So if a Christian professor at a public college began to teach hatred for Jews could that institution not discipline him/her for going against the values of the school? Apparently not because the professor is “free to share their convictions and responsible conclusions with their colleagues and students in their teaching and in their writing”? You may say hate speech is not “responsible” so this is apples and oranges, but who defines responsible and by what standard? What Adventists around the world are saying is that contradicting the core values of the institution that hired you is not responsible.
Also CFR 1.6â€””Does the University operate with appropriate autonomy from the Church?” LSU is OWNED, founded and supported by the Seventh-day Adventist church a legal corporation with legal operations in nearly every country on the globe. Who is WASC to say that a company, much larger and with more world influence then itself, has no right to have a say in how it runs its own institution? Public schools are regularly directed by congress to do or not to do a certain thing. And public schools are owned by states not the federal government. I guess any public school which accepts money from federal or state governments with mandates or “strings attached” should have it’s accreditation challenged because it’s not properly autonomous.
Sounds like WASC needs to review their own policies.
Recent Comments by Steve
Two Adventist Universities Promote Six-Day Creation
Sean, I’m so glad to hear you highlight what has gone well in the area of Science in the Adventist Universities! At this point this sort of promotion of those who teach Biblically may do as much good, if not more, as exposing error (and I’m certainly not opposed to exposing error).
Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation
With all this depressing news about our collages turning away from God’s word, I think its important to highlight the faithful schools.
I’m happy to say that as someone who knows most of the science department professors at Southwestern Adventist University (including Art Chadwick, who commented above), SWAU is solidly in line with the Bible and the literal 6 day creation (They recently got rid of some professors who were found to have strayed from those beliefs). In the science classes I’ve taken at SWAU the evolutionary point of view is fairly represented then solid answers are given for their claims. I think that’s the perfect balance.
If all the people on this site who oppose the promotion of evolution in Adventist schools would step forward and support those schools who are remaining true, think of the impact we could have.
WASC Reviews LSU’s Accreditation
I think it’s time that all christian (as well as any other religious college) universities in the region pull together and sue WASC for discrimination. Either WASC is especially picking on LSU using a double standard, or ALL Christian colleges in the region already submit their theology to WASC (which I highly doubt), or WASC is setting a precedent which will make it impossible for any Christian college to hold to whatever religious standards they may have.
There are two issues at play here. One is how an Adventist College should uphold their teachings, that’s for the church to decide. The other is whether or not the WASC has any business interfering in religious issues.
Private: [Updated] Walter Veith visits La Sierra
There’s no doubt that Vieth has some good things to say about creation and evolution. However, it seems that he likes to stray into areas that he has little knowledge, primarily conspiracy theories. I have been saddened and alarmed to see many, if not most, of his “followers,” whom I know, fall away from a reliance and love for Jesus Christ and turn their attention toward pursuing and trying to defeat these conspiracy theories.
This is not one or two isolated cases, but the vast majority. That’s why I think we should be careful in how we promote this teacher. The broad fruit of his labor has led many toward conspiracy theories rather than to trust in God.
LSU Board says ‘we apologize’
While I agree that the problem isn’t solved with this letter and that the issue still needs to be monitored we must also appreciate this as an excellent first step.
It may seem a long time in coming but I’d like to point out that it hasn’t been very long since the GC new administration took over. Ted Wilson (GC President) and Lisa Beardsley (GC Dir. of Education) and Dan Jackson (NAD President) are new to this post and became actively involved in this situation as soon as they were appointed by the world church. If they got LSU to reverse its denials and actually directly apologize (Apologies almost never happen in these kinds of cases) then maybe with time and encouragement more changes will take place.
Take courage! God is still in control!