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Linfield University and Stable Higher Education
President Davis is standing his ground

Linfield University is a small college located in McMinnville. big changes at a small University.

Miles Davis has been president of Linfield University since 2018. Enrollment at the University is up 40% since he took the helm. A black man from humble beginnings with no Ivy League credentials, he has offered buyouts to 13 professors in liberal-arts programs with shrinking enrollments. Most of the over 4600 institutions of higher learning in the U.S. are bleeding money. Quietly going broke would be a more direct way of stating their condition.

Students keep funding the economically unsound higher education system with ever larger government backed loans many hope they won’t have to repay. Miles Davis is trying to get out ahead of the unstable economic problem by returning to education that prepares students to make a living in a free market world in addition to gaining a well-rounded education. He is also concerned that “schools are failing to encourage open-mindedness”, with professors “coming into academia believing their narrow minded perspective is right.”

Linfield Trustees prepared to finalize a change to their governance that would give nursing and business programs equal representation to liberal-arts on Linfield’s board. Two thirds of Linfield’s graduates come from its nursing and business programs. A Jewish liberal-arts professor was the faculty representative designated by opposing viewpoints. Going beyond arguments concerned with a proper response to declining enrollments in liberal-arts, he cited past claims of sexual harassment against trustees on the board to discredit their decisions to elevate nursing and business representation on the board.

Miles Davis fought back claiming the professor was unfairly hurting the University for personal reasons. The professor was fired by his dean, provost and legal counsel not the board of trustees. 2000 professors nationwide have signed a letter in defense of this “whistleblower”. Claims of restricted free speech and threats to faculty governance are lead arguments in their May 17th announcement of an investigation into the firing. President Davis is standing his ground claiming change is necessary and not without challenges.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-05-26 11:46:45Last Update: 2021-05-26 12:01:18



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