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Professor Banned From Christian Campus For Criticizing Identity Politics Settles Case


A professor and ordained pastor who was kicked off his campus two years ago for opposing “diversity, equity, and inclusion” initiatives has settled with Concordia University Wisconsin in a confidential agreement, his lawyer told The Federalist Tuesday.

Philosophy professor Greg Schulz “alleged they breached the contract by violating his academic freedom, and he believes he’s been satisfactorily made whole,” said Dan Lennington, deputy counsel at the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty, a nonprofit public interest law firm that took up Schulz’s case on behalf of free speech. When he was booted off campus without warning in February 2022, Schulz still had five years left on his tenured contract.

After Schulz published an article criticizing his and other campuses’ use of race and sex as hiring criteria, acting university president William Cario ordered campus security to ban Schulz from campus, Schulz and Lennington told The Federalist then. Schulz couldn’t even clean out his office or access his campus email, he said.

Several lawyers argued this clearly breached Schulz’s contract with Concordia. That contract required that all firings be voted on by the university’s board of regents and that tenured professors have access to a detailed dispute resolution process before any adversarial actions. CUW has not responded to a Federalist request for comment.

The situation became a minor uproar in the church body in control of Concordia, the 1.8-million-member Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (of which this author is a communing member). Pastors, professors, and church members across the denomination expressed concern publicly and privately to church leadership. Local, regional, and national church councils expressed disapproval of CUW’s actions and opposition to identity politics, also known as leftist racism and cultural Marxism.

Two years ago, after visiting campus and interviewing approximately 80 people who did not include Schulz, LCMS President Matthew Harrison issued a public letter. It called for two of the 18-member board of regents to resign, the university to review its “diversity” initiatives and align them with Christian theology, and for the university to “demonstrate repentance” for its “…adoption of secular worldviews and agendas.”

The two regents Harrison identified did resign. Cariou retired in December. Lennington says the church district overseeing CUW plans to appoint a “circuit visitor” to review diversity initiatives at Concordia, which has long offered a Black Student Union and recently opened a Latino Student Union. The Black Student Union recommended the historically inaccurate 1619 Project and Ibram X. Kendi’s work to students. Kendi openly advocates for systemic government discrimination against people with lighter skin colors.

Concordia also maintains a “bias reporting system.” Those are known for harassing students and professors for their speech. After The Federalist reported on the system last year, its name appears to have been changed.

On Monday, Concordia announced layoffs to address annual deficits of $2 million to $6 million in five of the last six years, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Earlier this year, CUW announced staff cuts and building sales for its campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, also due to budget concerns.

“Enrollment fell from nearly 6,000 students in 2016 to nearly 4,400 in the 2021-22 school year, the latest federal data available,” according to the Journal-Sentinel. The LCMS has already closed three colleges since 2018 due to declining enrollment and resulting budget crises. The closed colleges also had problems with leftist race and sex politics conflicting with Christian teaching. The LCMS is currently in a legal dispute with Concordia University Texas in Austin, which rejects church attempts to assert authority and address serious theological problems at the school.

In the two years he’s been suspended, Schulz has written a book about his experiences with DEI in the church and taught theology abroad. Schulz has two doctorates and is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.

While Schulz’s contractual concerns are resolved with this agreement, Lennington said, his concerns as a pastor and theologian about his former employer’s embrace of anti-Christian and discriminatory “diversity, equity, and inclusion” initiatives are not.

“We would like the university to reaffirm its commitment to academic freedom,” Lennington said. “It’s not going to help its reputation and recruitment if they can’t make a simple statement that they will respect professors’ free speech and due process rights.”

This article has been corrected since publication.

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