Seattle Pacific University (SPU) faculty members cast a vote of no confidence over a decision by the Board of Trustees to retain hiring policies that discriminate based on sexuality.
Cedric Davis, the chair of the SPU Board of Trustees, said in the announcement that “the Board recognizes that fellow Christians and other community members disagree in good faith on issues relating to human sexuality, and that these convictions are deeply and sincerely held.”
According to The Seattle Times, the employment policy in question, while confidential, bans SPU employees from conducting sexually immoral behavior that isn’t aligned with the school’s views on sexuality. Those who do not observe the ban potentially face severe disciplinary action.
In an official statement released on Monday, the SPU Faculty Senate expressed their disappointment with the outcome and the manner in which the announcement was delivered.
“We presume that each member of the Board — like each one of us — wants this institution to thrive. But we fear that the Board’s actions imperil the ability of SPU and its community to flourish,” the statement read.
The senate received responses from 90 percent of the faculty. Around 72 percent were in agreement with the no-confidence vote and 22 percent were against it. The remaining six percent abstained, while the board has yet to respond.
In the statement, the Faculty Senate voiced several concerns from the community, such as the board’s lack of engagement with the SPU community and its supposed indifference towards the ill effects felt by students and faculty members because of its hiring policies.
“This statement of ‘no confidence’ is not a declaration of antagonism. On the contrary, it is a call to the Board to engage faculty, staff, and students in deep, good-faith discussion so that we may better understand one another and find a path forward that we can all walk together,” the Faculty Senate said.