General Theological Seminary board to negotiate with terminated faculty

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General Theological Seminary in New York.

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General Theological Seminary in New York.

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NEW YORK (RNS) A collective statement from faculty said they will consider the board's offer. "For now, we need to spend some time individually and collectively in prayerful reflection on the Board’s decision so that we can determine the best way forward," the statement said.

  • Phyllis Schneider

    The wisest thing the trustees could have done would have been to encourage Rev. Dunkle to tender his resignation. And, as a man of God, he should have considered doing so himself (for the sake of GTS). Perhaps he did consider it… If so, he should strongly consider it again. He may have been the wrong choice for GTS in the first place…

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  • Sanity Please

    It looks like the Board has doubled down on its “The Dean is our guy and we’re sticking with him” position. They must be getting legal counsel telling them to offer this “pathway back to citizenship” for the GTS 8 faculty in order to avoid a bigger legal battle? The only outcome I can envision that results in any hope of healing and movement forward is if the Dean and the GTS 8 leave.

  • Leigh Anne Armstrong

    Being neither seminarian, theologian, professor, administrator, or even Episcopal, I have no dog in this fight. Living in an academic environment, however, I know that students’ records are private, and mishandling of them can threaten accreditation. Living as a follower of Christ, I know that language of a dismissive or abusive nature is not a hallmark of kingdom leadership. If the faculty did indeed bring these concerns to the Board, and if they are founded in fact, GTS is a sinking ship for having chosen to sail on with a corrupt captain.

  • Creed Pogue

    It is amazing that the faculty are not jumping at this offer. It is highly likely that at the end this would result in their full reinstatement. Instead, they are acting like they are “in charge.” They should consider themselves fortunate that the paychecks are probably continuing and utilities haven’t been shut off at “their” houses.

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  • Byron

    I don’t know the “inside of the story” or the “truth” but perhaps some of these distinguished professors have been there for a long time are accustomed to being served and inflated.

    The seminary was/is dying and the “new kid on the block” is changing some things.

    Perhaps… good will come out of this… maybe change is needed???

    The professors are not there to be served, but to serve. PERHAPS they don’t like the changes and have made it all about themselves, and not God???

    Again, I don’t know the specifics because I’m not there.

  • Byron

    Good point.

    They are acting like they are “in charge” and I suspect they are accustomed to being treated as if they are “in charge.” Hence the revolt against the new guy who has been put in place to turn this dying institution around.

    I can’t say for sure, but pride and ego seem to be in control, not God.

  • Paul Emmons

    I know very little about the actual issues in this confrontation. However, as a university faculty member (now retired), I regret that faculty have generally been reduced to functionaries, while entrenched administrators hold most of the cards. Tenure is becoming rarer and perhaps less meaningful. Many actual teaching is done by people not even “on the tenure track”– ill-paid part-time by piecework with few benefits, and forced to shuttle between two or three institutions in order to make a living wage.

    In older and better times, a college or university was effectively run by its faculty. They should be able collegially to vote out an administrator in whom they have lost confidence. Could they do so at GTS? I would like to know whether the other faculty love the dean, or merely lack the courage of the eight who have gone out on a limb. What would they do or say if they dared?

    Of course, academic institutions must stay in the black financially, but does this mean that they must operate with all the philistinism of a commercial mentality? In a remarkably prescient book antedating 9/11, _The Twilight of American Culture_, Morris Berman devotes a chapter to academe and how its beacon of wisdom for society at large has gone out. It rings totally true from by perspective, and there has been no improvement since.

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