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NNU President Resigned in May Due to Inappropriate Relationship With Student

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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.
A jaw-dropping July 11 statement from the Northwest Nazarene University Board of Trustees said ex-NNU President David Alexander resigned in May not because of the controversy surrounding the ouster of a popular tenured professor but because Alexander had engaged in an "inappropriate relationship" 25 years earlier, when Alexander was a faculty member.

"When confronted with the information, Dr. Alexander acknowledged the inappropriate relationship. The board accepted his resignation on May 11, the day following commencement," wrote Randy Craker, Chair of the NNU Board of Trustees. "Our hearts go out to the person who has carried this secret for over 25 years. We are deeply saddened by what occurred. Our hope is that with her public release of this information, she can find healing and receive ongoing support. She has been and will continue to be in our prayers."

At the time of his resignation, Alexander was presented with a petition and a vote of "no confidence" from NNU faculty, calling for his dismissal. That came in response to the controversy that swirled around the layoff of tenured professor Thomas Oord. The professor's dismissal 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.

In the July 11 statement from the Board of Trustees, Craker wrote, "While very rare at NNU, inappropriate relationships between faculty or staff members with students are inexcusable. The policies of the university are clear regarding such behaviors.

"In today’s world, much is made of transparency. However, when an inappropriate relationship occurs years and years ago, what we did not want to do was victimize someone a second time. Our goal was not to hide from the information but to allow those involved control of when or if the information was released. Then, we were committed to immediately make a public statement," wrote Craker.