July 24, 2008 9:57AM
President of Baylor University Fired
John Lilley had angered alumni, faculty, and others with tenure decisions.
Baylor University’s board of regents has fired president John Lilley, whose presidency began and ended with disputes over tenure.
In 2006, associate professor of church-state studies Francis Beckwith was denied tenure. His appeal became a cause celebre in some evangelical academic circles, and he eventually prevailed. Lilley, however, continued to be viewed with suspicion by some Christian observers.
But it was April’s decision to deny tenure to 12 candidates that really set the drumbeats going. Most years, about 10 percent of faculty up for tenure are denied. This year, the 40 percent rejection rate sparked accusations of a “purge” and capricious standards. Seven of the ten faculty who appealed ended up receiving tenure.
A press release from Baylor says board member Harold Cunningham will be acting president until an interim president is named.
Updates to follow. The Waco Tribune-Herald will no doubt have coverage throughout the day.