Baylor University went through another president, this time firing John Lilley. He had only been at the Baptist university for three years. The previous president, Robert Sloan, was also forced out, but for different reasons.
As I understand it, Dr. Sloan pushed through a plan called Baylor 2012, in which the school would become BOTH a major research institution AND a distinctly Christian university. That is a brilliant goal, much-needed in both the church and the academy. We desperately need a conservative Protestant version of Notre Dame, with a grad school that can turn out Christian scholars and professors of the highest quality.
Dr. Sloan made good progress on that front, assembling some first-rate Christian faculty members. But the old guard faculty resented them and would not abide any whiff of creationism or intelligent design. Dr. Sloan was forced out, whereupon many of these young Christian professors were purged in tenure fights.
Dr. Lilley, now, has been ousted by the board of regents, seemingly for the opposite reason, of not taking the Baylor 2012 plan seriously enough, especially when it comes to integrating faith and learning.
We should all hope and pray that the next president puts Baylor back on its Christian course, while also being able to handle the faculty who will oppose that.
(If I’ve got the conflict wrong, Baylor fans, please correct me.)