Thursday, October 2, 2008

Alumni Support

Below is the letter I wrote to the President of my college regarding the recent termination of a beloved religion professor...

Dr. p

I was stunned and appalled to read comments from fellow alumni, fraternity brothers, and from x indicating that he had been deemed a dangerous, aggressive, or abusive person and subsequently dismissed from the x College faculty.

I have not been in contact with x since my graduation in May of x, but the four years I spent on campus and in class with x were spent with a loving and caring professor. Dangerous, aggressive, and abusive would not have been appropriate words to describe the man I knew.
I understand that you must be receiving messages like this from hundreds of students and alumni that would be willing to attest to x's caring and loving demeanor. If that is what is needed, I would be more than willing to write, call, or visit the campus to share my testimony.
My concern, however, is not that there is a lack of support for x. In fact - I suspect that the opposite is true.

Instead, I am concerned with what appears to be a lack of disclosure about the issue. X's comments have indicated that documents regarding the investigation into this matter have large sections or important information that has been blacked-out or with-held.
I understand the desire to protect the identities of students or faculty that may have made complaints; but when the issue involves termination of a tenured professor who has more than a decade of service, the investigation should be thorough, solid, and completely transparent.

I have the highest respect for you, Dr. p. My freshman year at x College was your first year as President. I have always felt that you strive to provide the highest education standards as well as a lively and productive campus environment. I'm angered as my conscience tries to process this situation and my mind tries to determine which side is right in a matter of which I have little knowledge.

The intent of this letter is to offer my plea that you take a personal interest in this case and ensure that the correct action is taken on the part of x College. Since I have little knowledge of the situation and no access to the complaints or investigation notes, it would be presumptuous of me to advise or direct you as to a course of action. I have no envy for the situation you are in. My sense is that you have a love for x College that - much like my own - will remain with you long after you leave campus.
If you are personally involved with this issue I trust that you will have done everything in your power to ensure that the right course of action was taken. I pray that you will be able to look back on this situation and feel the same.

My prayers are with the x family in what must be one of the most difficult times in their lives. Dr. p, I also pray that God guides your hand and provides for the best outcome for the x family and the x College community.
If there is anything I can do to provide my support for x, for you, or for x College please, don't hesitate to call on me.



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