Find the opposing argument here: http://www.acuoptimist.com/2012/12/professors-denominations-diversity-academic-integrity-a-benefit/.
Many students, professors, alumni and staff of ACU have expressed concerns with a possible change in current hiring criteria. Their concerns are well founded. By hiring non-Church of Christ faculty and staff, ACU can expect negative effects as a result of the change.
Many parents send their children to ACU not only because it is affiliated with the Church of Christ, but because their sons and daughters will be surrounded by a 100 percent Church of Christ faculty that will reflect the same beliefs the family finds in their home congregation. By hiring from outside of the Church of Christ, many parents will see a university that has strayed from its upbringing and no longer reflects their denominational beliefs.
This change of perception could lead to a decline in enrollment that will negatively effect revenue and tuition prices on campus.
As it currently stands, ACU separates itself from many other Christian colleges throughout the nation. We remain one of the few colleges that requires its faculty to be Church of Christ. By shifting away from tradition, we would simply be removing one of the aspects that helps differentiate our university from others.
Pepperdine University remains the only Church of Christ university to remove this requirement and their Church of Christ student enrollment subsequently dipped 5 percent. This may seem a far cry from ACU’s current demographics, but this clearly reflects a possible future for our university.
Whenever a person or entity steps away from its founding morals to conform, there is one question that will always be raised: where does it end?
Even though this possible change represents only one small aspect of the university, we have seen many similar changes in recent years.
Through the end of a ban on dancing at school sanctioned events and a relaxation of curfew, ACU has been taking small steps away from the foundation the university was built on.
As we continue to see conformity slowly chip away at the founding ideals of our university, we have to wonder at what point we will decide it has to stop. In the future we could see a university that is Christian only in name.
As the university works towards a decision, it must be aware of the potential repercussions of such a change.
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