My letter to the Editor was in the Wheaton Record today, the school paper at my alma mater. For those that didn’t read my previous drafts on the blog, I’ll post it one more time.
Mostly, I want to say hello and welcome to any students who got here via a Google search or link. Glad you stopped by. If your interested in joining our efforts to make diversity a central issue in the hiring of Wheaton’s next President, please leave a comment below or shoot me an email. Thanks!
Letter to the Editor
As an academic institution and as a Christian community, Wheaton recognizes the importance of diversity and acts successfully on it. This fact is quite apparent when you look at the nearly 50/50 female-to-male ratio of each incoming freshman class. For the benefit of both sexes and the community, Wheaton intentionally maintains this 1:1 ratio. Why? Because Wheaton recognizes there is value in having a diverse student body.
The selection committee, chosen to help select the next Wheaton president, also recognizes the importance of diversity and includes this as part of its “Commitment” section in the concise “qualifications desired”:
* To champion ethnic, economic, and gender diversity
Despite this commitment to diversity, the selection committee itself contains only two women and one African American out of ten positions. It seems the importance of a gender balance in the student body does not carryover into areas such as selection committees. Even President Litfin, who has served the college well, makes no mention of the topic of ethnic or gender diversity in his formidable book regarding Christian Colleges.
Wheaton College has had seven presidents in it’s 150 year history, Litfin’s tenure beginning in 1993. All seven of the past presidents have been white males and, if we are honest, we should acknowledge that our historical prejudices would not have allowed it otherwise. Compared to other academic institutions, their are more white and male Christian college presidents (in the CCCU) then their secular counterparts (no minority CCCU presidents and only 2% female, compared to 12.8% and 21.1% respectively in all national institutions).
Let us continue the commitment Wheaton has to diversity, acknowledge in the presidential qualifications and admission considerations, by making diversity of primary importance in considering the next leader of this great academic institution for Christ and His Kingdom.
Ariah Fine ’05