Thursday, September 10, 2009

Update on the Northwestern College Controversy

In October 2008 I posted an entry, asking, What's Going on at Northwestern College? (in St. Paul, MN). CT had a helpful article on the controversy in November 2008. In January 2009 I pointed out that the student government called for the President's resignation, based on "irrefutable evidence that President Cureton has committed grievous sins as our president, ranging from deception and lies to slander."

In response, the NWC promised to hold accountable those found at fault--whether the President, the students, or both. They appointed a "Special Master" (an investigator to review documents, interview the relevant parties, etc.). However, the Board seems to have stopped this investigation in June 2009 before it was completed.

Dallas Jenkins, a concerned alumni involved with the controversy, writes:
So many have said, "Where's the evidence? How can you say things like this when you don't know? If there's evidence, show it." We have refrained from that to respect the process, but the process ultimately did not live up to its intent or its promise to either side or perspective in this controversy.

You can read every document presented to this point over the past year, as well as the newly provided documents outlining the student government's evidence and their presentation to the board of trustees, at Login: northwestern, password: truth. You can decide for yourself if the questions raised have been fair or if the evidence presented demanded a verdict.

When this process began, we genuinely had no agenda or "side" other than a desire for truth and clarity regarding conflicts and questions being raised that we felt were legitimate. It wasn't until these questions, and those asking the questions, were dismissed, ignored, condescended to, or given contradictory answers, that we began to be as disturbed and upset as we are.
Here is the upshot from their report of the evidence:
Dr. Cureton has clearly committed slander and, by his own definition, broken state and federal employment laws. The pattern of discussing inflammatory and often inaccurate issues in a deceptive or even illegal way with faculty, staff, Board members, alumni, and students was extraordinarily disturbing to Student Government.
I don't post things like this lightly, but if in fact the law has been broken and slander committed without repercussion, it seems appropriate for the wider Christianity community to know of this most unfortunate situation.