Baylor University Responds to Misconceptions about the Polanyi Center Controversy

In light of remarks on the META list that indicate a significantmisunderstanding of the recent events surrounding the Polanyi Center atBaylor University, most particularly the removal of Dr. Dembski as itsdirector, I think it is important to clarify the significance of what hashappened.

Dr. Dembski was not removed from the directorship for any academic failure.Baylor recognizes the value and legitimacy of his academic work, as did theExternal Review Committee. Baylor fully supports his academic freedom topursue his research and hopes that he will continue to do so. Dr. Dembskiwas removed from his post as director on administrative grounds. In order tofunction in his administrative capacity, it was necessary that Dr. Dembskibe able to work well with other Baylor faculty, first and foremost anadvisory committee. It was the judgment of the administration that some ofhis recent actions severely compromised his ability to perform his centraladministrative duties. It was for this reason, and this reason alone, thathe was removed from his directorial post.

There also has been a suggestion that the removal of Dr. Dembski as directoris a sign that Baylor has succumbed to political pressure to squelch work onintelligent design. Nothing could be further from the truth. Having beenfreed from administrative tasks, Dr. Dembski will be able to devote himselfexclusively to research, which arguably is the most valuable contribution hecan make to design theory.

Finally, some have claimed that this sad episode suggests that Baylor isweakening its commitment to being a Christian university. Baylor Universityremains committed to encouraging a faithful intellect and an intellectuallyresponsible faith.

Michael BeatyDirector, The Baylor Institute for Faith and Learning

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