As parents, you have an enormous task and responsibility resting on your shoulders. Today, as information is as easily accessible as the air we breathe, the burden is even heavier. You recognize the importance of higher education. You recognize the need for qualified instructors, and we pay them their due for the valuable services rendered. You want nothing more than the best for your students. In light of these facts, I feel the burden to share a few things from my experience as a student at Shorter College, now Shorter University.
Faith and reason are invaluable. This realization has led to the start of many academic institutions at which faith is put in a central position. Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive, but are two ways of viewing our world. Reason gives us the ability to use the tools at our disposal to their greatest potential and effectiveness. Faith gives us the vision to see our community’s needs and the motivation for meeting them. Reason gives us an understanding of the world around us. Faith gives us the purpose for our presence in the world. The Shorter that I attended understood these truths and worked diligently to foster both faith and reason in my studies. But during my final semesters this beautiful harmony was disturbed.
Teachers began to be yanked from the classroom, some with no notice to the students expecting to take a class with that professor. A series of adjunct professors were ushered in, some with little to no teaching experience and others with no study in academic fields! The one thing these replacements had in common was their membership in a certain religious organization.
What was once a soaring atmosphere of spiritual and academic progress is now a bunker of fear and repression. Faculty members are afraid of honest pursuit of knowledge for fear of being termed “liberal.” The very people for whom higher education exists, the students, are being neglected and ignored. We have voiced our concerns to the administration, and they have been promptly brushed away. The administration is not concerned with the students, with you as parents, or with faculty and staff. Their concern is with their own political struggle.
Therefore, as parents, the burden of choice falls to you. Given the wealth of information presented here, you now have decisions to make. If you are considering Shorter, I urge you to inform yourself and make a careful decision. Shorter was once one of the best in Christian higher education. Sadly, I believe it is unable to claim as such anymore.
If you are the parent of a student currently at Shorter, I ask of you two things. First, regardless of whether your personal beliefs are in line with the current administration, I ask you to fight these dangerous trends. Your students are at risk of earning a degree from a Shorter without accreditation. For the most part, you pay the bills, and you have a voice to be heard. Secondly, I ask that you pray. Prayer should be an integral part of all of these decisions. Thanks for your consideration.
Shorter College, Class of 2009