Dr. Pollard Responds to Media Reports
Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 25, 2006) — Dr. Charles W. Pollard released the following statement on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in response to recent reports of a student being dismissed.
JBU does not discuss the details of individual student disciplinary cases because we are prohibited by law. We also believe that confidentiality is important in working redemptively with students. As a result, many people are hearing only one side of a story without having the opportunity to get more information.
While I can not disclose the particulars of student disciplinary cases, I can articulate our general philosophy of working with students.
As a Christian university, we believe that scripture sets out standards for ways in which we should live our lives. We articulate those standards in our community covenant. We could not, nor would we want to, articulate every possible way that a person’s actions could violate that covenant. Instead, we seek to develop students who are mature Christian men and women with discerning judgment about the Christian life, not simply people who follow the letter but not the spirit of a rule.
As a Christian university, we also believe in grace because we recognize that all people are broken and fall short of the ideal. Accordingly, we will work with students who make mistakes but who express a desire to turn from those mistakes. As we work with a student in such cases, we do offer illustrative examples of how behavior could violate the standard to help them develop discerning judgment.
Our belief in grace is intimately linked to our belief in truth, and our student disciplinary process seeks to embody both. Unfortunately and regretfully, as we live out those beliefs it is sometimes necessary to ask a student to leave the community. Even in those cases, we offer ways for students to return to the community if they can live by the community standards. We never take those decisions lightly, but we do see them as part of our responsibility.
I know that working with students, indeed with all people, is a messy business. Sometimes that messiness is more public than others. Whether it is public or not, I believe that we are called to be a part of the messiness in people’s lives because we are called to live out the principles of truth and grace in this world. It is what we do at JBU.
Dr. Charles W. Pollard President, John Brown University