Andrews University Board Faces Presidential Choice

Hmmm…. Perhaps some have not felt the president was responsive to their concerns. And i have never heard that peaking to a board member of a corporation about your concerns is out of place. Boards are to be open to the thinking of the “stockholders.”


I understand. He was questioned about this but doubled down on the answer. So it is what it is.

That sounds like dictatorship to me. Doubles down?? Needs to be let go. If he is unresponsive to constituents, the place is doomed.

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Let me insert some data here from the University’s statistical reporting. Based on Spring semester data over the last six years, Andrews’ Spring 2023 enrollment is 113 students down over the 6-year Spring average. It has seen an increase of 117 students over Spring of 2022.

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Here is some data on Adventists from Pew Research (2015): The Adventist church 8 years ago was only 37% white. Andrews University closely represents this figure in its demographic makeup. There are a lot of white students, faculty, and staff here who love the diverse atmosphere on campus and are not triggered by conversations about racism or whiteness. We see them as distortions of our humanity and the humanity of others and are eagerly seeking a better way forward.

Your information on enrollment may be correct, as I do not have the numbers, but heard it second hand.

Your comment is confusing. You say that a group of white students and staff etc., love the diverse atmosphere and are not triggered by conversations about racism or whiteness.

So am I to assume that these conversations are acceptable to these folk?

But then you say you (the. “We”) see these conversations (the antecedent of them) as distortions of our humanity etc.

So, are the conversations OK, or distortions, or what?

I think there is some racial tension at the university. I have heard that that is so, but I do not have first hand information. Your comments seem to indicate there is.

Should that just be brought out into the open and discussed? Might clear the air, or cause a real uproar?

I am quite concerned about a board chair who says he is the only one that constituents are allowed to complain to. Is he trying to suppress something that he does not like to hear about? Was he triggered?

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Hi Allen. Sorry, that was poor sentence construction. I meant to say that there are some of us who work at the university who are white and view racism and the ideology of whiteness (simply used here as the view that white is the universal or superior norm) as distortions of our humanity as white people and the humanity of those who are not white. And, yes, there is always the potential for racial tension on a very diverse campus, but I don’t know anywhere it is not present these days. I have always tried to ask myself, “ How can I be a healing presence?” That question is going to be even more important in the days ahead. Healing does require that we talk about things openly and honestly. It is delicate and often difficult work. I hope our new president will be open to that process.

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I believe the chair’s comments accurately reflected our current distributed governance model. If it helps, there are feedback loops the campus can utilize, including the board’s annual presidential evaluation process. The Faculty Senate also has a voice that, if nothing else, could be used to take public actions expressing concern or no confidence, in extreme cases.

:joy: solid point @llemans

I have no evidence outside of first-hand accounts of people I trust telling me of Mark Moreno’s negative posture and statements about Adventism in the classroom. This was enough for me, but I certainly appreciate your point and wouldn’t expect others to accept my statements as objective fact.

Regarding what this has to do with Christon—he’s the provost, and ultimately responsible for the appointment of the new chair within the architecture department, replacing Von Maur with Moreno as the individual leading the European tour, and the firing of Von Maur.

And this isn’t the first great faculty member Christon has inexplicably let go. That’s why this unfortunate situation in the school of architecture and interior design is very related to Christon, and why many of us felt so strongly that he shouldn’t be called to lead Andrews University as its next president.

I have graduated from the architecture department. I have had both Andrew Von Maur, Rhonda Root and Mark Moreno as professors. I personally know Daniel Bacchiocchi, I have known Pastor Ron Kelly at village for over ten years. I have been part of a 2 + hour meeting with Christon Arthur and alumni discussing Andrews nonrenewal. I have many personal friends at the university… To the author Mr. Alexander Carpenter do you know any of the people you are blatantly misrepresenting? I know these people to be people of high intellect, character, and most importantly people that are seeking to follow God. Your analysis of the situation is inaccurate, divisive, unqualified, and most sadly unchristlike. I hope you prayerfully consider your voice and the messages you speak.

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It is inaccurate to say that the single incident with Professor Von Maur is the only factor affecting Christon Author’s presidential bid. This is simply the latest in a long line of examples of mismanagement and tyrannical leadership at the institution.

If you spoke with a variety of faculty who currently work at the university, you would see that the large number of faculty and staff leaving is not a coincidence. You would also hear that many are afraid to speak out about issues for fear of retribution from the administration. To say that the working environment for faculty and staff at Andrews is hostile would be an understatement. There is a clear problem with the way this institution is being run, and it needs to be addressed.

Instead of actually investigating this issue, you have chosen to blame a professor, a department, and a small church as the sole influences on the board’s decision. This approach is lazy and only seeks to encourage divisiveness, not unlike the Fox News example mentioned midway through the article.

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Yea, they have a plan…


@timteichman if we were doing a biographical movie of TW’s life, Donald Pleasance is a pretty good likeness…

I’m thinking Werner Klemperer aka Colonel Clink:



I commend Alexander for running this piece, giving relevant background to the highly significant vote on the next president of AU—now known to be John Wesley Taylor.

And this background-piece stands alone, as a search of other Adventist media websites doesn’t yield another.

That the editor has received criticism from those who fault him for lack of balance, misrepresentation, and factual inadequacy is understandable. But this criticism largely misses the point: the essay is an analysis. Yes, it’s written from a viewpoint, as are all such pieces.

This analysis alludes to various aspects of the presidential search process, but it appropriately focuses on an undergirding issue that’s increasingly important in the denomination—the tension between fundamentalist and progressive views of Adventism (a framework that served Gil Valentine well in his recently published and important history of Adventism, 1966-1979). To see this tension detailed and examined as it played out in the run-up to the election of Taylor is a great service to Spectrum readers (and a maturing Adventism, in general). After all, AU is arguably the leading Adventist institution of higher learning in the denomination.


More this

Or this

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You mean that he is the only one that can receive complaints?

From the comments here, there seems to be some difference in opinion of what has been going on. There seems to be a group that feels the dismissal of some was not above board, while others feel all is more or less on the up and up. Or that there are not real problems. I sense you feel that way.

I have a relative who worked there but was laid off two years ago when staff was cut, and I beleive they are going through another such cut.

I have a friend who was a constituent at he meeting yesterday. He was impressed at the rubber stamp like procedure at the meeting with little opportunity to discuss the issues.

I might add that on a trip three years ago, I met with an old friend who has become a prominent liberal, and many would know who he was if I mentioned his name. As I was leaving his home, he told me that all whites are racists, and that I should just accept that as so.

If that is the feeling of some on the campus, I am not sure there can be progress.

I understand. And I think that was why some in the room pushed back. There did seem to be confusion prior to the board meeting about whether it was appropriate to directly contact board members. The board needs to take a more careful look at the presidential search and selection process before this rolls around again.

Sorry about what your friend told you at dinner. That does not represent the University’s position and certainly misrepresents my thinking as a white person who tries to push back on hierarchies of human value. For me, it is simply enough to look at the damage these hierarchies have caused and to advocate for those who suffer because of them. As Paul says, if one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers with it. For me, it is about empathy and understanding our interconnectedness as a church body and as God’s creation.

I don’t know you personally; but I feel your comment has less “evidence” than your concern for the “evidence” not forthcoming from the AU administration’s dealing with the department issues. I personally know and have worked with both of the final candidates. They are both fine Christian men. I also have joined Von Maur in preparing his students for their “mission” trip; and I really appreciated his mission heart. I am afraid, though, that your attacks (and a few others) have influenced the Board’s decision; and that is unfortunate for both Arthur and Taylor. I take no “sides” in the department issue, since I, like you, really don’t know the whole story. But I do take “sides” against the character assassination that has been orchestrated. And I pray for Author, Taylor, and Von Maur. May God lead them in their future work for Him.

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