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La Sierra University Reports on Its Constituency Meeting

On May 12, the La Sierra University seventy-six member consistency met to elect board members, review the finances, and discuss the recent controversy regarding the pedagogy of origins.

The newly elected board members are:

  • Meredith Jobe, an attorney in Glendale, California and a La Sierra alumnus;
  • Alvin Kwiram, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Washington;
  • Alina Sanchez, co-founder of Spire, a marketing consulting firm, and a La Sierra alumna; and
  • James Kyle, MD, vice president of medical affairs at St. Mary Medical Center, interim pastor of the Tamarind Avenue Seventh-day Adventist church, and a La Sierra alumnus.

(Significantly, Alvin Kwiram, Ph.D., is one of the founders of Spectrum. He is a Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is also vice provost for research emeritus at the University of Washington. Here’s a Spectrum article of his, “Adventists and the Good Earth”, from 1993. Not afraid of controversy, apparently he doesn’t shy away from challenging quack science.)

The La Sierra University report continues:

At the conclusion of the reports and required business, the delegates spent approximately 90 minutes addressing the issue currently facing the university about the way in which theories of origins are addressed in the curriculum. A number of delegates voiced their opinions on various sides of the issue. While many expressed support and appreciation for the university’s commitment to provide a comprehensive science education to its students, some delegates voiced concerns about how the church’s understanding of Biblical creation is included in the biology curriculum.

After a thorough airing of the debate, Ricardo Graham (pictured), the chair of the Board of Trustees and chair of the meeting, brought the discussion and meeting to a close.

La Sierra University has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for community engagement—one of only 116 institutions of higher education in the nation to be so identified,” [President Randal] Wisbey reported (pictured). “While this is an honor and a benefit, let us also be clear. It is never the reason we do this work. La Sierra matters because our commitment to service makes certain that our students are prepared for a life of service, a life that will go on into eternity as they bring meaning and fulfillment to others. They learn here the joy of being the hands and feet of Christ in our world.

La Sierra University matters because we provide a place for students to develop a life-long love of learning within a deep and abiding faith that will nurture them for the rest of their lives,” Wisbey concluded.

Read the whole report here.

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