Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Inside Higher Ed :: Lost Faith

Inside Higher Ed :: Lost Faith
Lost Faith
Two leading trustees of Davidson College have quit their positions to protest the board’s decision to allow non-Christians to serve on it. One of the trustees — John Belk — is Davidson’s most generous donor.

Belk and the other trustee, Stephen Smith, were not available for comment Tuesday. The Charlotte Observer (free registration required) disclosed their resignations, which were confirmed by Davidson officials.

The Observer quoted Belk as saying that he did not object to non-Christians teaching or enrolling at the college, but that he thought the board should remain entirely Christian. “I think Davidson ought to be a Christian school,” Belk said. “I think that is one reason why Davidson is special, a little different from anyone else,” he said.

Davidson announced the change in its policies in February, following a lengthy study of the issue. Faculty, student and alumni leaders all backed the change, with many saying that it was wrong for the college to recruit students of all faiths (and no faith) while limiting who could serve on the board. The change caused relatively little controversy on campus. But there has been strong alumni opposition throughout the debate. The college was founded as a Presbyterian institution.

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