You are probably familiar with the intelligent design problem Indiana’s Ball State University has been having, which is summarized in this earlier post: Ball State Imbroglio Update — 03 Oct 2013.
Today there’s an unexpected devevelopment reported in the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Their headline is Ball State president plans to retire. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Ball State President Jo Ann Gora informed the board of trustees Friday that she will retire at the end of June. “This year will be my 10th as president at Ball State but my 40 in higher education,” Gora said in a news release from the university. “It has been a rewarding and fulfilling career, especially these years in Indiana.”
The ten year milestone is a reasonable time to resign. But what effect will this have on the situation we’ve been watching? We’ll skip over the glowing account of Gora’s tenure as president and get to the part that interests us:
The 18,000-student university was involved in a series of religion-based flaps over the summer. Ball State was criticized in July for hiring astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, who wrote a book arguing that the conditions that produced life on Earth suggest an intelligent design. Believers say the theory is based on scientific evidence that suggests the universe and evolution couldn’t have developed by chance and that supernatural forces were at play. Gora notified the Discovery Institute think tank that complained that it would review its “Dangerous Ideas” class in a letter sent Sept. 30. The hiring came after another professor at the school was accused of teaching creationism.
We already know that. Are there any new developments? No. The story ends by saying that the trustees are beginning a search for Gora’s successor. Nothing more is said about the creationism controversy.
What are we to make of this? Is resigning Gora’s idea, unrelated to the issue we’re following — which is still unresolved — or was she gently persuaded to go for allowing the creationism problems to develop? We have no idea.
The Discoveroids had attempted to launch a letter-writing campaign to pressure the Ball State trustees to be tolerant of creationism, which we reported here: Discoveroids Increase Pressure on Ball State. Even if the Discoveroids’ campaign had no effect, they’ll try to claim credit for Gora’s departure. We’ll have to keep watching to see how things work out.
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