“Conservative evangelical institutions such as Wheaton are governed and supported, overwhelmingly, by people who are not just theologically conservative but also politically conservative. I would wager that the boards, top administrators, and biggest donors of most self-identified evangelical schools would vote Republican at around 95 percent. Recall that in every recent presidential election, 75 to 80 percent of white evangelicals have voted for the GOP candidate.
Evangelical Christian universities walk a tightrope. They are precariously balanced between the need to build a faculty that is academically respected and the need to satisfy the demands of very conservative donors, trustees, and parents. They have to pluck graduates from mainly liberal research universities and find or develop enough of them who can toe an explicit conservative theological line and an implicit conservative political line. This is no mean feat.
… My theory is that what Professor Hawkins really violated were the implicit but very real political preferences of Wheaton’s constituency, not the school’s explicit theological standards.”