Board responds to faculty vote of no confidence

Trustees cite litigation for lack of transparency, Rinedahl’s representatives say nothing shared with community can be used in court

Kyle Morrison, News Editor

The Board of Trustees met in an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the faculty’s vote of no confidence. The vote came in reaction to the board’s decision to keep the statement on human sexuality, and thus maintaining the University’s hiring policies that exclude LGBTQ staff and faculty.

Cedric Davis, the chair of SPU’s Board of Trustees emailed faculty on Monday to announce the result of the meeting. Davis said no further explanation as to the board’s reasoning for maintaining the policy will be given until the lawsuit involving nursing professor Jeaux Rinedahl draws to a conclusion.

“The Board cherishes this institution and sincerely regrets that we appear out of touch to so many. Regrettably the existence of active litigation against the University has a significant impact on what the Board can share,” Davis said.

Jeaux Rinedahl’s representatives have offered the University a deal that would assure nothing the University shares with the community regarding the lawsuit will be used against them in court.

Rinedahl’s lawyer Dan Kalish is frustrated that the board decided to send this message to the community.

“Nothing in Professor Rinedahl’s lawsuit would prevent them from explaining their recent decision to the SPU community,” Kalish explained in an email. “And just so there is no confusion on this issue, Professor Rinedahl has agreed to provide a stipulation to the court specifically saying that any explanation provided to SPU about its recent decision cannot and will not be used in his lawsuit.”

SPU is also mentioned in an ongoing class action lawsuit against the Board of Education over Title IX rights.

Davis acknowledged the pain of the community in response to the board’s decision.

“We are deeply aware of and impacted by the disappointment, pain, and anger many in our community are experiencing as a direct result of the Board’s decision. We recognize that there are many who have given much of their life to this institution and feel their voice means nothing,” Davis said.

Davis went on to say that while no change to the policy will be occurring in the immediate future, they will be striving to create more dialogue with the community.

“The Board did not arrive at its decision quickly or lightly, and the board is not changing the University’s employment policy related to human sexuality. However, the Board will be convening with a goal of working out a process for dialogue with the community,” Davis explained.


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article claimed that SPU had signed the agreement with Rinedahl’s representatives. This was untrue, as SPU has only been offered the agreement and have yet to sign it. The article has now been corrected.