Wheaton College professor Larcyia Hawkins will go before a faculty personnel committee for judgment next month.
Hawkins was a professor at Wheaton College, sometimes called the “evangelical Harvard”, according to the Washington Post. She posted on Facebook in December that she would wear a hijab in solidarity with Muslim women during Advent. She added that Christians and Muslims have the same God.
Hawkins and Wheaton College’s actions have drawn debate from all over. When classes started last week, about 60 students and a dozen professors protested near the school’s chapel.
School officials say protests have been civil, but a Wheaton junior did report that another student hit her with a door while she was wearing a hijab in support of Hawkins. Someone also built a fake website to try to connect Hawkins to ISIS.
Earlier this week, Wheaton’s faculty council voted to recommend to the administration that it stop trying to fire Hawkins. The council also voted to end her administrative leave.
“The issue is not that Hawkins’ statements were all definitively unorthodox, but that the college wanted and needed to better understand her thinking,” the college said in a statement. “The administration had several questions that needed to be answered, which could have led to a different outcome, but when asked to participate in further dialogue about the issues, Dr. Hawkins declined to participate, bringing the process to an impasse.”
On Feb. 11, Hawkins will have a judgment hearing in which the provost and the faculty personnel committee will make a recommendation to the president. The president will then make a recommendation to the college’s board of trustees, who will make the final decision.
Hawkins is one of Wheaton’s only five black tenured professors. She is the only full-time black woman professor.
Publication date: January 23, 2016