US: Board places college under review for demanding exemption to anti-discrimination law
An accreditation board has placed a college under review, after it demanded an exemption from an anti-discrimination law.
D Michael Lindsay, of Gordon College, Massachusetts, had signed an open letter to Barack Obama, demanding that the college be granted an exemption to his planned executive order to ban homophobic discrimination in employment.
In the letter, he claimed that the anti-discrimination order “will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom”.
However, the controversial move has attracted the attention of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a group responsible for accrediting institutions in the area.
As the Association’s own policies require “non-discriminatory policies and practices in recruitment, admissions, employment, evaluation, disciplinary action, and advancement” – in addition to support for “people of diverse characteristics and backgrounds” – it is possible that the college could already be breaking rules if it is not doing so.
The Association’s higher education board will hold a review of the college’s actions at its next meeting, on September 17.
Barbara Brittingham, president of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges told the Boston Journal: “It has achieved a lot of visibility and the issues are complicated.
“[The commission] will talk about the issues and decide if the issues, that are raised and what is publicly available, is at odds in any way with standards and policies.”
Despite calling for the freedom to do so, Lindsay claimed previously: “We have never barred categories of individuals from our campus and have no intention to do so now.”