It has recently come to my attention that La Sierra University has quietly taken the chairmanship of the biology department away from Dr. Lee Grismer and given it to Dr. John Perumal (not updated on LSU’s website until after October 17).
From the church’s perspective, this certainly is an improvement since Dr. Grismer is an ardent evolutionist who has long advocated for slow evolutionary changes and common ancestry for life on this planet over hundreds of millions of years. His publications and media appearances also reflect this position and he has shown little patience for students who wish to discuss or even mention the Adventist position in his classroom – and has told such students that those who hold to the Adventist position on a literal 7-day creation week are ignorant and stupid and are even the ones who “fly airplanes into buildings.” (Link)
Dr. Perumal, on the other hand, is supportive of the Adventist position on origins as far as I’ve been told (I have not met him in person). So, it certainly is a positive step to have, after many years, a department chair at LSU who is actually supportive of the Adventist position!
It is still concerning, however, that LSU continues to maintain and hire neo-Darwinists and/or theistic evolutionists to teach in its science and even religion departments. I am also unaware of any active support, from either the science or religion departments at LSU, regarding the Adventist position on a literal 7-day creation week. No one seems to be giving lectures on this topic, favorable to Adventism, at LSU. It seems to me, then, that AAA accreditation should have been withheld until this situation is rectified by LSU.
It is, however, a positive step in the right direction that the new chair of the biology department favors the Seventh-day Adventist position on origins. This news is certainly encouraging. Additional information along these lines, from either the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA) or LSU would most certainly be welcome as well – such as any lecture materials or presentations planned which aim to highlight the Adventist perspective on origins in a positive light. Perhaps inviting, on a regular basis, some well-known and well-respected advocates of the Adventist position to give lectures at LSU. This would go a long way in helping to ease the concerns of many over what is being taught at LSU regarding the topic of origins – those like Dr. Leonard Brand or Dr. Arthur Chadwick come to mind . . .