Jump directly to the content

CCU prof reportedly fired for criticizing capitalism

"What the university stands for, among other things, is free markets."

Andrew Paquin is executive director of the 10/10 Project, a Colorado-based international development and advocacy organization focusing on Africa. He was also professor of global studies at Colorado Christian University, and last year was named faculty member of the year. (He also wrote a 2006 op-ed for Christianity Today on Saddleback Church's PEACE plan.)

Monday's Rocky Mountain News reports that CCU fired Paquin "amid concerns that his lessons were too radical and undermined the school's commitment to the free enterprise system." (No one at the school has tenure.)

School president Bill Armstrong wouldn't talk about Paquin's case in specific, but emphasized the school's commitment to capitalism. "What the university stands for, among other things, is free markets," he explained. He pointed to the school's recently adopted "strategic objectives," which include a commitment to "impact our culture in support of traditional family values, sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, Biblical view of human nature, limited government, personal freedom, free markets, natural law, original intent of constitution and Western civilization."

Paquin told the paper he likes capitalism. The 10/10 Project, in fact, largely focuses on microenterprise. Capitalism, he says, has "obviously been one of the greatest wealth generators in the world. But I'd stop short of deifying it."

Paquin doesn't seem interested in returning to CCU, though some students are circulating petitions.

I hope we'll hear more, because the story seems very incomplete. The News article suggests that Paquin was fired because he assigned books by Jim Wallis and Peter Singer, but it's not at all clear that Paquin actually endorsed the books, and the college library carries many books by both Wallis and Singer. Armstrong insists that it's okay to teach about alternative viewpoints, so long as they're not endorsed, but it's not evident that Armstrong takes issue with Wallis.

One also wonders about how to read, define, and enforce those strategic objectives. Does Armstrong's support of a constitutional amendment banning "desecration" of the U.S. flag violate the school's commitment to "limited government," for example? As one often wonders in these stories of lines in the sand, How far is too far?

(I've earlier posted on whether there is an "evangelical view of economics.")

Related Topics:Education
Posted:August 14, 2007 at 10:16AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.

Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.
Recent Posts
Guard Kills 3 Americans at Christian Hospital in Afghanistan
Pediatrician "felt called" to leave Chicago's Lawndale Christian Health Center for Kabul.
Israeli Military's Call-Up of Arab Christians Labeled 'Intimidation'
Attempt at increasing recruits ten-fold occurs against backdrop of stalled peace talks, Hamas-PLO reconciliation.
James Dobson's Birthday Gift: Latest Court Victory Over Obamacare Contraception
In shadow of Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby hearing, judge rules in favor of Family Talk.
Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
(UPDATED) Popular seminar speaker: 'I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught.'