Adventist Church Responds to La Sierra Employee Lawsuit
by AT News Team
On September 13, 2011, Defendants La Sierra University, North American Division of Seventh-Day Adventists (sic), and Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists filed responses to the lawsuit filed by Dr. Kaatz, Dr. Beach, and Dr. Bradley. In those responses, instead of defending the case on the merits, La Sierra University and the now united Church Defendants take positions that are completely at odds with the position La Sierra University has taken with Western Association of Schools and Colleges (“WASC”), its faculty and staff, its students, the community, its mission, and its bylaws. Of note, the position taken by the Church Defendants include the following:
- La Sierra University is not a separate institution, and is, instead, part of a single unified church entity.
- La Sierra University is not a true University, but rather a “church operated college (emphasis added)”
- That the spiritual leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church know what is best for this Seventh-day Adventist university, implying that Church leaders should be making academic and curriculum decisions.
- That this controversy is a theological one. This position is in direct conflict with the previous express statement of La Sierra University administration to the faculty, WASC, and the community, claiming that the forced resignations had nothing to do with the “origins controversy.”
Read the full press release from McCuneWright: