The Board of Trustees of Northwest Nazarene University has been presented with a petition including the names of 123 faculty members from faith-based universities and colleges across North America in support of Thomas Oord, who was recently laid off by NNU.
Oord, a tenured professor at NNU, was part of a March layoff due to budget cuts, according to university officials, but supporters say Oord may have been targeted due to his beliefs, which included the acknowledgement of the theory of evolution.
NNU President David Alexander, in an open letter to students,
conceded that communicating with Oord about the layoff via email "was not respectful."
"While our actions were policy-driven, we did not demonstrate the compassion and care reflective of our values," wrote Alexander. "We can and should have done better."
Meanwhile, NNU Faculty officers have announced that following a three hour-plus meeting, more than three-fourths of the group cast a vote of no confidence in NNU President Alexander.
This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports t
hat the petition from faculty members from other universities in the U.S. and Canada has been received by NNU officials but they would not comment further.