The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 20th, 2015
Northwest Nazarene University, a Christian institution in Idaho, has
put on hold a plan to lay off six employees, including a popular
professor of theology whose pending removal had prompted protests and a
faculty vote of no confidence in the university’s president, the Idaho Statesman reports.
The professor, Thomas Jay Oord, and the other affected faculty and
staff members had been expected to leave Northwest Nazarene at the end
of the academic year, as part of budget shifts announced by the
university’s president in March. But on Saturday the president, David
Alexander, said in an email to university staff members that he was
placing the layoffs on hold while a panel reviewed the budget decisions.
The university’s Board of Trustees commissioned the review as part of
its response to the controversy last week.
Faculty critics had accused the university of trying to get rid of
Mr. Oord because of theological differences. In an open letter last
week, Mr. Alexander apologized to Mr. Oord for the manner in which his
changes had initially been handled, but he denied that the move had been
driven by theological issues.