Faculty at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, voted no confidence in the Christian school’s incoming president on Thursday (Oct. 21), one day before his scheduled inauguration.
Since his appointment in May, Gerson Moreno-Riaño, slated to be formally named the university’s 12th president, has allegedly opposed diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and created a culture of fear by firing staff and professors with little or no warning.
Moreno-Riaño previously served as executive vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Regent University, the Virginia school founded by evangelical leader Pat Robertson.
The 42 to 6 vote, with 14 abstaining, is non-binding but was reported to the school’s board in a letter late Thursday.
In an earlier letter, 42 university faculty and staff said, “Our current campus culture has become one of fear and suspicion. Faculty and administrators — many of whom have dedicated long years of faithful service to the university and our students — have simply disappeared without explanation.”
Carole Bos, chair of Cornerstone’s board of trustees, said in a statement to RNS that the new president “is committed to continuing our diversity efforts and will lead the Board’s charge to build a diverse Cornerstone community. Our board is confident that he will seek collaboration with our tremendous faculty and staff to help our students reach even further in their goals to serve the global marketplace. Most of all, he will challenge each of us — and himself — to remain steadfast to the teachings of Christ while we reach above the more common, contentious dialogue within today’s social landscape, so that we all may remain focused on training future leaders.”
Read the rest here.
Here is the earlier petition.
How does a president go forward when an overwhelming majority of the faculty have no confidence in him?