Looking for a summary of what’s happened at Cedarville University recently? In addition to reading our Storify on the #CUPurge, it’s worth giving the site http://villefeedbackforum.wordpress.com/ a visit, especially if you’re a CU alumnus/alumna who’d like to engage with others on these issues. The alumni comment section is password-protected, but here is a helpful summary of what’s happened, from VilleFeedbackForum’s front page. It includes recent information which is lacking from our Storify (hard to keep up with this new administration!):
Cedarville University leadership (board of trustees) have made the decision to alter the strategic direction of the school spearheaded under the Brown administration. The university is now sharply moving away from the robust (and more theologically moderate) evangelical stance championed by the school’s leaders over the past decade and is returning to the theologically ultra-conservative regime solidified during the Dixon/Patterson era. Those who do not fully conform to the university’s doctrinal statement are now being forced out of positions of leadership.
Many of these forced resignations (usually accompanied with a legal non-disclosure agreement) are the people in leadership that the students over the past decade know, love, and trust. Cedarville University has abruptly changed from what we (alumni) knew, and the information regarding this shift (and the corresponding hostile takeover) is being obstructed/silenced by the new administration leadership. Alumni need to know the background and facts so that they can make informed decisions; here is the story as it has not yet been told.
Cedarville University Timeline:
2003: Cedarville University hires William E. Brown to replace 25 yr president Paul H. Dixon.
2003-2012: 10 new board members voted in under Brown Administration.
2006: CU no longer affiliates with the GARB (General Association Regular Baptists).
2006-2007: Perceived liberal shift away from conservative theological roots.
2007: Forced resignations of key conservative faculty members David Hoffeditz and David Mappes. University sued in court.
2007-2011: Administration spends $3,163,064 in legal fees and settlements.
2012-2013: President Brown announces surprise retirement/resignation. Prior year had stated he had no plans of leaving the institution.
2012-2013: VP of Student Life Carl Ruby resigns/retires mid-year following Brown’s announcement.
2012-2013: 12 of 30 board members resign (including 8 of the 10 brought in under Brown).
2013: Board elects new chairman. Paige Patterson returns to board. Newly restructured board unanimously appoints southern baptist Thomas White as new president.
2013: VP of Christian Ministries Bob Rohm forced to resign following inauguration of new president.
2013: Associate VP and Dean of Students Kirsten Gibbs resigns abruptly following announcement that southern baptist Jon Wood would be assuming the new VP position.
2014: Longtime female theology professor Joy Fagan resigns at the start of the year.
2013-2014 : Widespread bible faculty exodus. CU theology department hires 8 new faculty members- all of which are from the same 2 southern baptist seminaries.
2014: VP for Advancement Bill Bigham quietly announces retirement/resignation.
Jan 27 2014: Closed door meeting: President White announces changes/revisions to Cedarville University’s doctrinal statement pending vote by trustees.
Cedarville Faculty and Staff Exodus*:
Matt and Dana Anderkin (Christian Ministries), Justin Spann (Christian Ministries-one voice), Brianne Dupree (Residence Life), Jen Castellani (Advancement), John Potter (Counseling Office Director), Jenny Beck (Counseling Office), Drew Flamm (Advancement), Bob Lutz (Student Life), Shawn Graves (Philosophy Faculty), David Mills (Honors/Philosophy Faculty), Marlena Graves (Residence Life), Matt Thompson (Residence Life), Dan Ebert (Theology Faculty), John White (Theology Faculty), Tim Gombis (Theology Faculty), Jeff Cook (Theology Faculty), Carl Smith (Theology Faculty), Joy Fagan (Theology Faculty), Michael Pahl (Theology Faculty), TC Hamm (Theology Faculty), Aaron James (Theology Faculty), Adam Johnson (Theology Faculty), Mark Irving (Discipleship Ministries)
Bible Faculty who were part of CBTS as of July 2012 who are no longer present:
You can see the backgrounds of the new Southern Baptist professors who replaced these positions here
Dan Ebert (M.Div. Biblical Theological Seminary; Ph.D. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
Tim Gombis (M.Div. The Master’s Seminary; Ph.D. University of St. Andrews)
Joy Fagan (Ed.D Southern Seminary)
Michael Pahl (M.Div Prairie Graduate School; Ph.D. University of Birmingham, UK)
TC Hamm (Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary; Ph.D. Dallas Theological Seminary)
Aaron James (M.A. University of Oklahoma; Ph.D. University of Dayton)
Adam Johnson (M.Div. Princeton Theological Seminary; Ph.D. Trinity Evangeligal Divinity School)
Jeff Cook (M.Div Tyndale Theological Seminary; D.Min Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
Ryan Peterson (M.Th. University of Edinburgh; Ph.D. Wheaton)
Shawn Graves (M.A. Ohio University; Ph.D. University of Rochester)
David Mills (Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University)
William E. Brown (Ph.D. Dallas Theological Seminary)
Carl Smith (M.Div. Temple Theological Seminary; Ph.D. Miami University)
Update: 4/26/2014: Ryan Peterson (theology faculty leaving as of next week), Bob Milliman (theology faculty and former AVP under Brown issued terminal 1 year contract effective immediately), J.D. Winteregg (adjunct french professor fired for role in this anti-boehner campaign ad), Lisa Clifton, J.D. (social work professor and Title IX coordinator “leaving” as of next week)
You can read Pastor White’s 4/29/14 response to the firing of JD Winteregg here
Christine Fulmer (Social Work), Jeff Fulmer (Counseling Office).
Jon Purple Student (Dean Student Life), Kirsten Gibbs (Associate VP Student Life), Carl Ruby (VP Student Life), Bill Bigham (VP Advancement), Bob Rohm (VP Christian Ministries), Bill Brown (President)
James Devries, John Hayes, Mary Howard, Kezia McNeilCurry, Kelly Miller, Beth Prentice, William Rudd (Chair), Debbie Stevens, Albert Stevens, Bill Williams, Chris Williamson, Randy Wilcox (Vice Chair)
* Please note: the term “exodus” simply notes those who have left cedarville during the recent leadership transition. Not all people on this list were forced out and/or signed non-disclosure agreements. Many simply found new jobs and departed as soon as they were able to.