Calvin University President Resigns over Allegations of Inappropriate Communication

Milton Quintanilla | CrosswalkHeadlines Contributor | Updated: Feb 28, 2024
Calvin University President Resigns over Allegations of Inappropriate Communication

Calvin University President Resigns over Allegations of Inappropriate Communication

Calvin University president Wiebe Boer has resigned after he confessed to engaging with communication with a member of the campus community.

Boer “engaged in unwelcome and inappropriate communication and attention toward a non-student member of the campus community,” the Calvin Board of Trustees said in a statement Monday after receiving a report on the allegations.

“The report did not include allegations of sexually explicit communication or physical contact, but the alleged conduct is concerning and inappropriate,” the trustees added. 

As reported by Christianity Today, university officials explained that they then hired an outside expert to assess the allegations. The review included speaking with Boer, a former oil executive and son of Christian Reformed Church missionaries who was appointed Calvin’s president in 2022.

"After being notified of the report, Dr. Boer denied some of the allegations but did admit to sending communications that were inappropriate and inconsistent with the high standard of conduct and character expected of the President of Calvin University," the board said in its statement. "Dr. Boer subsequently offered his resignation, which the Board accepted."

At the present time, Gregory Elzinga, Calvin’s vice president of advancement, will serve as interim president. According to the board, Elzinga was described as someone involved in the daily management of the university and “well situated to provide effective continuity of leadership while the Board conducts a thorough search for the University’s next permanent President.”

A campus meeting with students and Elzinga is expected to take place this Thursday.

When Boer became Calvin’s president, the school had faced pressure to abide by the rules of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, particularly concerning the church’s teaching on sexuality. In 2022, the denomination ruled that congregations and church members must abide by the church’s teaching on marriage and sex, which state that only sex between a man and a woman is permitted. 

Although Calvin University openly allows LGBTQ students to attend, faculty and staff are to maintain the church’s teaching on the matter.

In response, several faculty members have requested a “gravamen”, which would grant them the opportunity to express their churches over a church doctrine.

One Calvin professor shared that his contract was not renewed after he officiated a same-sex wedding for a staffer at a research center that was affiliated with the school but has since severed ties.

In the fall of 2022, Boer told Religion News Service that the school will continue to welcome LGBTQ students on campus.

“I don’t want to be the president of an institution that isn’t welcoming to everybody,” Boer said.

In the trustees statement, they asserted to “take our responsibility to provide an environment free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation very seriously and continually strive to promptly and thoroughly respond to allegations of misconduct."

“We ask for prayers for the entire Calvin community, trusting that the Holy Spirit will comfort all of us in the sustaining grace of God, now and always,” they concluded.

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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for CrosswalkHeadlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

Calvin University President Resigns over Allegations of Inappropriate Communication