I suppose that we shouldn’t expect a school with a name like Shorter University to think big. With recent changes in the administrative policies, the scope of education at the university has recently become smaller than ever.
In 2011, Shorter University had a faculty of just 109 instructors. However, in October of last year, a few years after the Georgia Baptist Convention’s control of the university was enforced by the Supreme Court of Georgia, the school’s administration presented employees with a new set of requirements. Employees would have to sign “lifestyle statements”, promising to engage in religious worship at local Christian churches, and vowing not to engage in or support homosexuality or extramarital sex.
As a result of the new requirements, 59 faculty members, plus other employees at the school, have declared their intention to leave Shorter University at the end of this school year. Only 12 percent of faculty have decided to sign the draconian lifestyle standards so far.
So, when Shorter University reconvenes this autumn, it will be mostly with new professors, who don’t know each other, and have no history of working with the institution. They’ll have one thing in common, though: They’ll all be ideologically screened to be in line with the beliefs that the administrators at Shorter University are willing to accept. Students at Shorter will be learning certain kinds of information only – and not because it’s accurate information, but because the information has been judged by the Shorter authorities to be politically correct.
Most parents, when they send their children off to college, are looking for an experience that will enable the full development of their children into adults, in a setting where students are able to grapple with the realities of the world, building a mature self-concept and set of intellectual abilities that is founded in honest debate and open access to information. Shorter University won’t be delivering that kind of educational experience. Instead, Shorter University students will gain their degrees without having full access to information. Shorter students will be trained to follow a narrow course that has been selected for them, kept in the status of children, in a controlled environment where the educational philosophy is that the less students learn about the world, the better.
Shorter University will be offering degrees of ignorance, building a reputation for graduates who know less, can do less, and who have not been fully tested with exposure to the full range of ideas and information available to most university students. Shorter University students will carry with them an association with bigotry and intolerance. Diplomas from such an institution of education will qualify Shorter graduates to work for small range of employers within a small ideological territory. Who will want to graduate with that kind of handicap?