National news sources are reporting the current state of the situation at General Theological Seminary.
Sarah Pulliam Bailey at Religion News Service writes that 7 of the 8 faculty are returning but the future of the seminary is unclear:
The board of the embattled New York seminary will keep seven of the eight faculty who quit teaching classes and were subsequently terminated, according to Jonathan Roffe, a lawyer representing the faculty. Faculty will teach on a provisional basis until the end of the current academic year.
Roffe said the lone faculty member who will not return, whom he declined to identify, “felt it was the right time to move on.”
In an attempt to salvage the divide, the board of GTS — a venerable Manhattan institution that has produced generations of bishops and noted theologians — invited faculty to request provisional reinstatement. One trustee resigned, saying faculty deserved full reinstatement.
Washington Post also carries Bailey’s report.
The New York Times interviewed Bishop Sisk (chair of the Board of Trustees) and reports:
The faculty members, who contend they were illegally fired during a strike to protest their treatment at the school located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, have been reinstated provisionally until the end of the academic year and have lost their tenure protections.
The seminary’s board of trustees did not meet their key demand — that a dean they found abusive be fired. But trustees and faculty members said they were hopeful that a mediation process between now and June would bring a more permanent resolution.
“In a sense, the hardest work is yet to come,” Bishop Mark S. Sisk, the chairman of the seminary’s board of trustees, said in an interview Friday. “There are going to be painful conversations, because people have held passionate points of view that are at variance with each other, and people have said things that people do in the heat of conflict that are hurtful.”
The NY Times also notes “Our faculty really wanted to get back to the classroom to their students,” said Jonathan Roffe, a lawyer representing the professors. “They want to see what they can do by the end of the year to make improvements there.”