Well, it’s official. Chuck Phelps has resigned from the Cooperating Board at Bob Jones University.
Bob Jones University’s website had this to say:
At a regularly scheduled meeting of the Bob Jones University Board of Trustees, Dec. 2, 2011, Board Chairman, Dr. Bob Jones III, read a letter from Dr. Chuck Phelps in which Dr. Phelps voluntarily tendered his resignation from the Cooperating Board effective immediately. In submitting his resignation, Dr. Phelps expressed that he did not want anything to distract BJU from its mission.
“We are grateful to Dr. Phelps for his many years of loyal service to his alma mater as a member of the Board of Trustees,” says Dr. Jones III.
So, there you have it, folks. The goal of getting Chuck Phelps off the Board has been achieved.
But what brought it all to pass? Was it because of the petition that many people signed? I doubt it, but I think the petition gave people a way to voice their desire to see Chuck Phelps removed from the Board. Was it because of the Do Right BJU campaign? I don’t think so. I doubt the administration would allow themselves to be swayed by the opinions of students or alumni.
No, I agree with the Hidalgo Grain Company in their assessment of the situation. I think they summed it up best when they said:
This was patiently planned out so that the two announcements (BJU says Dr. Phelps stays & Dr. Phelps resigns) were spaced far enough apart so that both parties, BJU and Dr. Phelps, could come out of this “doing the right thing” in the eyes of those who still value BJU as an institution and Dr. Phelps as a great pastor and man of God.
I doubt Bob Jones University will ever see things differently than they do now. And we shouldn’t expect them to. Those of us who have come to see fundamentalism for what it is and have run and never looked back understand that. There are, however, those who think that fundamentalism can be reformed, that maybe things can be made better… to them I say, “Don’t hold your breath.”