Dr. Brown’s Resignation

At the end of chapel on October 29, 2012, Dr. Brown announced his resignation as president of Cedarville, effective as of June 30, 2013.  Dr. Brown stated that he will be serving as chancellor for at least the following year.

Dr. Brown’s resignation arrived under rather unusual circumstances.  None of the faculty knew of his resignation until the chapel announcement, and the VPs were not informed until an hour before chapel began.

The official university statement on Dr. Brown’s resignation is available here; specifically, the text of the press release states:

William E. Brown, Ph.D., president of Cedarville University since 2003, will become the next chancellor of the University. Brown shared with the student body in Chapel this morning that he will step down as president, effective June 30, 2013. As chancellor, Dr. Brown will continue to represent Cedarville University.

“Serving the faculty, staff, and students at Cedarville University has been a true joy for Lynne and me during the past 10 years,” said Brown, referring to him and his wife. “The past 10 years is a testimony to the fact that as Christians, when we humble ourselves and serve the Lord fully, he will bless our work for his glory.”

Why This Matters:

Does postulating a link between Dr. Brown’s resignation and our other concerns make us a bunch of conspiracy theorists? We don’t think so.

Here’s why: The timing of Dr. Brown’s resignation matters much more than the impetus. The “when” matters more to us than the “why.”

That is, even if Dr. Brown really is resigning for completely innocuous reasons, this still creates a power vacuum.

As things now stand, the University seems to be having difficulties deciding whether it wants to become broadly evangelical or to return to its fundamentalist roots. This, we believe, explains many of the recent unfortunate events at the University. When the institution vacillates on its identity and vision with regards to the evangelical — fundamentalist spectrum, the Bible Department gets caught in the middle and people like Dr. Pahl bear the consequences.

Dr. Brown was one of the more prominent CU voices on the “broadly evangelical” side of things, one of his most valuable contributions to the Cedarville community as we move forward into the 21st century. With Brown’s announced resignation, a power vacuum has been created, one which could easily be filled by the same people who are responsible for the White Papers, for the rejection of the Theology Major, for the dismissal of Dr. Pahl, and for the continued reviews of CU faculty.

Is Cedarville University an evangelical or fundamentalist institution?

The answer to that question is important for current and future faculty and students alike.

Cedarville’s next president will answer this question one way or another.

This is our main concern with Bill Brown’s announced resignation. No “conspiracy theories” necessary.

4 responses to “Dr. Brown’s Resignation

  1. You raise a good point here. I had pondered myself why he left, and if there were other reasons behind it. He’s only been here 10 years, while if I recall correct Dr Dixon and Dr Jeremiah had been here 25. But without just going off of theories, I can’t prove anything. Still, the timing his suspicious in light of these other events.

    I can’t say for sure where I stand on the fundamentalist vs evangelical mind set. We have to stay faithful to the Truth of the gospel, but I also understand how the scripture can be looked at in different ways. It’s good to have clear standards, but it’s also good to discuss ideas. Part of the reason I’m glad I came here is because I have been challenged with new ideas. I’ve seen that what I excepted as fact may not be true. But I’ve had these struggles in a Christian community that stays faithful to the gospel, bringing me closer to Christ.

    Thank you for discussing these issues. It’s easy to think of Cedarville as a perfect Christian community, but people are sinners, and that means that we have to face the truth that Cedarville isn’t perfect.

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