Updated While social media has been abuzz today with news that eight members of the faculty of the General Theological Seminary had been fired, we have been attempting to get this news independently confirmed. Not long ago, we received this email that Dean Kurt Dunkle sent to the student body concerning these events. We will continue to follow the story.
By now most of you have heard of our Board of Trustees’ acceptance of eight faculty members’ resignations. I heard of this about the same time many of you did. I share in your sadness. With the following, I hope you will see this as one of many ways forward for the remainder of today.
At 5:30pm we will have evening prayer in the Chapel. Thereafter, any student, staff, or remaining faculty who would like to hear from Bishop Mark Sisk, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, is invited to adjourn to Seabury Auditorium. He would like to address us and then will respond to as many questions as he is able. We need to end by 7:00pm.
For classes tomorrow, I will have an announcement at that meeting and will send something out by e-mail thereafter.
Prayer is the most powerful response any of us can make at this point. Please pray.
The Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle
Dean and President | The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church
Update: This just went to students from faculty member Andrew Irving:
We wish to underline that we have not resigned. Our letters did not say that we would resign. We requested meetings with the Board. Indeed in our second letter we wrote to the Board “We assure you that your good faith willingness to meet with us will be received with our sincere good faith efforts to restore to our students the hours of instruction already lost to them by the Dean and President’s current policies” and we explained that a “good faith” response would “mean immediately undertaking to schedule a time to meet with us during the October board meeting.”
Many of you have asked for more detailed information for the reasons for our actions. We do understand that you may wish to have text to provide detail of some of the issues that we spoke about in St Peter’s church this afternoon. However, our legal counsel has advised us not to do this at this stage. This is because we want to continue to maintain the possibility of talking with the board as we requested, and do not want to endanger this process at this stage.