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Ex-NNU President on Inappropriate Relationship with Student: 'I Displayed Critical Weakness'

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Dr. David Alexander resigned NNU President on May 31, 2015. - NORTHWEST NAZARENE UNIVERSITY
  • Northwest Nazarene University
  • Dr. David Alexander resigned NNU President on May 31, 2015.
Two months after he tendered his resignation and a week after it was learned that the reason for his departure was an innapropriate relationship with a student, former NNU President David Alexander issued a statement July 18, saying he is now "setting out on a course of disciplined and heartfelt restitution and restoration."

In April, shortly before his resignation in May, Alexander was presented with a petition and vote of "no confidence" from NNU faculty, who called for his dismissal. The petition and vote stemmed from the layoff of tenured professor Thomas Oord, who was dismissed in March during a round of budget cuts. University officials said his job was cut for financial reasons, but supporters said Oord may have been targeted due to his beliefs, which include the acknowledgement of the theory of evolution.

On July 11, a statement from the NNU board of trustees disclosed that Alexander had left the university because of an inappropriate relationship 25 years ago between Alexander (then a faculty member) and a student.

"In the spring of 1990, I displayed a critical weakness and made a serious error in judgment by becoming involved in an emotional relationship with an NNU student," Alexander wrote in the July 18 letter to NNU faculty and staff. "While that relationship was not of a sexual nature it was nonetheless inappropriate."

Alexander said he was asking for forgiveness and joins "the many who pray that the NNU community will come together, extend grace, provide safety and foster healing amongst one another."