This story has been updated to reflect the board of trustees' decision Friday.
Cedarville University has become entangled in a dispute over theology and academic freedom after it terminated two tenured professors in July 2007. Cedarville's board of trustees upheld Bible professor David Hoffeditz's termination Friday, despite a report from a faculty grievance panel of five professors that determined that the college had made "administrative missteps" in the termination process. In classrooms, the professors openly challenged other faculty members whom they felt encouraged postmodern or Emergent theology.
"[The board] examined all of the evidence and the testimonies and so on and were convinced without a shadow of a doubt that he had violated his contract. It was not over doctrinal, theological issues at all," President William Brown told Christianity Today. Brown declined to discuss the details why Hoffeditz was terminated but said that they have to deal with the university's standards. "[Standards] involved how you treat each other, how you talk about each other, what's acceptable, and what's not. [Those standards] among others were violated."
The vote was unanimous. "Imagine trying to get 30 Baptists to agree on something that is just really phenomenal," Brown said, and laughed. "We couldn't agree on lunch today, actually."
Hoffeditz is a Cedarville alumnus and taught at the university for about seven years. His wife is currently a counselor at the university.
"It's not what we had hoped for, nor do I believe it was the correct decision," said Mark Miller, Hoffeditz's lawyer. "[Litigation] has not been taken off the table. That's not what we're looking for; we're looking for a resolution."
The theological aspects of the dispute ...1