“We are excited to be welcoming a diverse, accomplished group of 51 new full-time faculty to Shorter University,” said Shorter President Don Dowless. “Some of the faculty have a previous relationship with Shorter, either as a student or adjunct professor, while others are getting to know Shorter for the first time. What they all have in common is a commitment to delivering an academically excellent Christian education to all of Shorter’s students.”
Shorter University officials declined to provide a list of those who have left, but the Save Our Shorter website provided a list that its supporters compiled. According to the website, the Save Our Shorter group was “created to reveal the truth about what is happening on the Shorter campus and how the inept leadership by Dr. Dowless, Dr. Nelson Price and the Shorter Board of Trustees is slowly destroying the reputation of our beloved school and causing irreparable damage to the cause of Christ.”
The website lists 84 people who have left since staff and faculty members were told last October they would be required to sign a lifestyle statement. Not all on the list left because of the statement of faith issue, and not all were full-time faculty.
The Board of Trustees passed a measure earlier this year that required staff and faculty to sign a Faith and Personal Lifestyle statement in which they agree, among other things, to “reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality.”
In a press release issued Thursday, Shorter officials acknowledged that some chose to leave rather than sign the statement.
“Without question, Shorter is in a time of transition,” said Dowless. “Our recommitment to Shorter’s Christian roots has generated both enthusiastic support as well as some vocal opposition. But through it all, our focus has remained fixed on delivering the highest-caliber education to our students within an authentic Christian context.”
The university issued a news release on Wednesday announcing the staff of the nursing program, saying there was a “full complement” of faculty. Angela Haynes, who served as assistant professor of nursing since 2011, is the new dean. She replaces Vanice Roberts, who is now heading up the nursing program at Berry College.
“God has equipped us beautifully with a faculty who have a wealth of experience in nursing,” Haynes said. “The renewed strength of the School of Nursing is a testimony to God’s faithfulness campus-wide,” she added. “He’s given us an opportunity to invest ourselves in transforming lives through Christ.”