LaSierra University

I have fond memories of LaSierra–I began my graduate studies there, back when it was the LaSierra campus of Loma Linda University. I found it a very open and hospitable place to someone such as I was then–a liberal former Adventist who had come to accept evolution.

Well, fast forward 25 years and LaSierra, long its own university, has come under fire for being hostile to students who are Creationists, with evolution being presented as fact in the classroom (items once in dispute, but now admitted by the administration as true).

In this context, there’s been more controversy in the news this week. Four folks–administrators, professors, and a board member were asked to turn in their resignations. If not, they were told, they’d have to have a discussion with the board about a recording of a conversation they had. It’s a story that one of those involved likened to the Three Stooges. One guy had apparently recorded a faculty meeting (not a good thing), and had then forgotten to turn off the recorder. He ended up recording a conversation with some friends. He then distributed the recording, apparently thinking he might embarrass those who spoke in the faculty meeting. Well, he got hoisted on his own petard.

Over at Spectrum, the conversation is going on about academic freedom and whether those who demanded the resignations on the basis of this recording were acting legally. Spectrum has the recording, but is not saying anything about it, while deleting comments made by those who also have the recording and want to share what it contains.

I think the issue is a really basic one: religious institutions, and those who work at them, should reflect the beliefs and values of the denomination. I think Ex Corde Eccelesiae  was a good thing for the Catholic church, for instance. And so I think that LaSierra should be Adventist.