By Jeremy Weber and Ted Olson
Two weeks ago, faculty leaders unanimously asked Wheaton College to drop itsattempt to fire tenured professor Larycia Hawkins over whether her views on Islam fit the school’s faith statement.
On Friday, 78 of the Illinois school’s 200-plus professors publicly vouched for the orthodoxy of Hawkins’s theology and requested the same.
On Saturday, provost Stanton Jones told faculty that he had revoked his recommendation that started the termination process.
Hours later, the college and Hawkins jointly announced “a confidential agreement under which [we] will part ways.”
”[We] have come together and found a mutual place of resolution and reconciliation,” the two sides stated in a press release complimenting each other and stating they “wish the best for each other in their ongoing work.”
In a Saturday evening email, Jones informed faculty that earlier in the week he had “communicated to Dr. Hawkins that I recognize her as a sister in Christ, and that it was never my intent to call the sincerity of her faith into question.
“I asked Dr. Hawkins for her forgiveness for the ways I contributed to the fracture of our relationship, and to the fracture of Dr. Hawkins’ relationship with the College,” wrote the provost. “While I acted to exercise my position of oversight of the faculty within the bounds of Wheaton College employment policies and procedures, I apologized for my lack of wisdom and collegiality as I initially approached Dr. Hawkins, and for imposing an administrative leave more precipitously than was necessary.”
Jones says he also regretted not explaining the college’s public response, and for “introducing significant confusion regarding possible options for resolution.”
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