School Says Instructor's Criticism of Darwinism Not Linked to Request for Resignation
Reinstated College Prof Grateful for Support of Christians
by Jim Brown
(AgapePress) A chemistry professor at the Mississippi University for Women (MUW) says she has mixed feelings about the school's decision to renew her contract just weeks after she was asked to resign.
In an effort to fend off an impending lawsuit, MUW announced it would allow Dr. Nancy Bryson to remain as head of the Division of Science and Math. President Dr. Claudia Limbert said the school's change of heart "reassert[s] MUW's absolute commitment to academic freedom and freedom of speech."
Bryson maintains her prior dismissal was precipitated by an honors forum presentation she gave last month outlining flaws in Darwinian thought. She had been asked to resign just one day after her presentation.
Bryson is disappointed with the reasons the school has given for reversing its decision, and says it is disingenuous for MUW to still claim that academic freedom is alive and well on campus.
"I felt that that was what they certainly should have done," she says, "but I was unhappy that the university continues to maintain that the talk and the original non-renewal decision were not linked."
Still, Bryson is grateful she will be allowed to retain her position as division head. "It was just thrilling that so many Christians provided support," she says.
"I guess that I've had dozens and dozens and dozens of e-mails, and some phone calls and visits to my office, from people who were very alarmed about this whole situation -- and most of those people were Christians," she says. "I have not received any negative feedback from any students here at MUW. It's all been positive."
Bryson believes the vice president of academic affairs initially asked her to resign because he received pressure from some biology professors to do so. She hopes her victory will heighten awareness about the importance of academic freedom in the evolution/intelligent design debate and beyond.