Dear President Sweeney and Dean Holland,
I add my voice to those of my colleagues in asking that you halt the termination proceedings for Professor Christopher Rollston, Toyozo W. Nakarai Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Studies, at Emmanuel Christian Seminary. Prof. Rollston is one of the most prominent Semitic epigraphers in our field, and his contributions are considerable. Therefore, I should think that his services to your seminary be held in the proper esteem. Indeed, I find your treatment of this scholar inappropriate, and moreover, unfitting for an institution that recently added “Christian Seminary” to its name. I feel that such a name change would bring with it a sense of duty to operate with a higher standard of ethics that bear witness to the institution’s purpose. Instead, the situation is such that I must write this letter to you protesting the unethical treatment of a member of your faculty. Even more disturbing is the fact that Professor Rollston has done nothing that contradicts the basic tenets of Christianity. I state this because it seems that the controversy you have created has little to do with higher education inside the confines of a confessional institution. To the contrary, the situation is nothing more than the suppression of intellectual freedom for reasons that are less than academic.
I urge you to reverse these actions against Professor Rollston. It should be clear to you that the very integrity of your seminary is at stake in this matter.
Matthew J. Suriano
The Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies
University of Maryland
Filed under: scholarship Tagged: | chris rollston, Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Jack Holland, Johnson City, Matthew Suriano, Michael Sweeney, P. Kyle McCarter, scandal, Tennessee, tenure, University of Maryland, wrongful termination