La Sierra University Bylaws Change

The La Sierra University Constituency met on May 23 and voted to modify the school's bylaws. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) had requested some changes that would give the school more autonomy. GC president, Ted Wilson, has expressed his concern that the Constituency maintain the authority that the church has in guiding the school in its operation as a Seventh-day Adventist institution. The battle is on as to who is to set the standards for La Sierra, the church or the WASC. The church will not allow the school to teach evolution as fact. The WASC wants more separation between the school and the church.

Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, the director of the General Conference Education Department said "The board needs to clearly express the goals, means, and primary constituents served, and as a Seventh-day Adventist institution, explain what makes La Sierra University distinctive from … secular and private universities.  The board needs to determine and monitor programs and ensure they are consistent with the mission and purposes of a Seventh-day Adventist university. The board holds administration accountable for carrying out the mission on a day-to-day basis.  Ultimately, the faculty are essential partners in accomplishing mission, not only because of the power they hold based on academic freedom, but because learning, and the integration of faith and knowledge in the various disciplines takes place under the direction of the faculty.  They need to be fully converted, God-fearing mentors and guides who live out the mission every day,” 

We have yet to see the revised changes that were adopted. What we have seen does not appear to be damaging to the church. The board retains its makeup except that in the past one of its members could be a non-church member, that has been removed with the newly voted bylaws. All trustees must be Seventh-day Adventists. The president of the Pacific Union Conference chairs the board. As Conference president, he also chairs the Pacific Union College board. This has been changed with the new bylaws at La Sierra. He may not chair the board of trustees of both schools.

Both the Adventist Accreditation Association and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges will now have to consider what to do next. It appears that not much has materially changed if evolution is still being taught at La Sierra University.

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I was born into a non Adventist home, well that is an understatement really. My father was and still is a heavily practicing Satanist and as such, myself being a female, made me a target for ridicule and I was most certainly placed way below my brothers in the family......Tamara's Testimony

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