By Kavin Carter
As students resumed class last week, whispers spread across the campus at lightning speed that Dr. Mcllhenny had been placed on administrative leave for the Spring Semester of 2017.
This came at a very difficult time for students, in the wake of the dismissal of Dr. Reeves, Dr. Milton, and the resignation of Dr. De Soto, leaving some feeling lost and scared for the future. To lose three professors, with another on leave, is nothing short of a historical dark period in the overall history of Providence.
Begging the question, (in the spirit of history) how will this time be remembered by those that follow after us? What does it mean for us as a community, and our academic legacy to lose so many professors, one temporarily and three permanently, practically all at once? Will we become a campus of solely adjunct instructors, devoid of over-qualification and stability?
The news was originally given to student leaders on Monday, Jan 9th and spread via word of mouth to the rest of campus. Some students were concerned that Administration did not send out a formal mass email to inform the community. This is part of the school Administration’s new effort to communicate to students on matters that affect us all on campus and was an intentional move made by the student life department. When Director of Student Life, Mark Rippetoe, was asked for a statement he stated that administration is unable to comment on the issue for legal reasons.
“I think it was an effective way of communicating to the students. I’m just thankful that Dr. Mac isn’t fired,” said Junior, Noah Norred.
Yet at the same time, some aspects of their strategy seem to have been overlooked. For example, more than a few students had been under the advisory of Dr. Mcllhenny and were not notified that they would have to change advisors until the day of registration. Furthermore, Dr. Mcllhenny will not be available for Capstones, forcing some seniors to have to choose another advisor for their capstone project.
Although there has been speculation on the reasons as to why Dr. Mcllhenny was placed on administrative leave, there has been nothing confirmed by either Dr. Mcllhenny or the Providence Administration, only that Dr. Mcllhenny was made aware of the situation on December 19th.
When the Blade reached out to Dr. Mcllhenny, he declined to comment, but Mrs. Mcllhenny independent of Dr. Mcllhenny, had this to say:
“The most important thing we want the students to know is that our good God is near to all those who call on His name. As you can imagine, the last month has been a stressful time for our family. But as we have walked through this trial together, we have known more of God’s mercy in our time of need. We know He is our defense and provider. God has provided in ways in the last month that we could have never imagined. We have also been so encouraged by the fellowship of the saints. And we have been assured that we cannot give up the fellowship of all the saints for any reason. Our church and elders have surrounded us at this time and have helped bear our burdens. And God’s word has regularly instructed us: 2 Cor. 12:10 “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamity. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” And Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” All of Psalm 70 has also been our family meditation vs 4b “And let those who love Your salvation say continually,’ Let God be magnified.'” I love this verse that my 9 yr shared with us over the break “The fear of man is a snare, but he who trusts the Lord is safe.” Prov 29. We will continue to pray for the students and for Providence. We pray the God will be magnified no matter the outcome.”
In the meantime students who are working toward their history concentration or have history classes this semester will be under the instruction of Lauren J. Kim, Ph.D. Dr. Kim has been given the position of Adjunct instructor of History for this semester. She has been teaching history at both the undergraduate and graduate level for over 15 years. Dr. Kim has a Bachelor’s degree in Religious studies from the University of Southern CA, a Master’s degree in Historical Theology from Westminster Seminary and has a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in History from the University of St. Andrews’ department of Modern History. Before coming to Providence, she had been teaching history at Torch Trinity Graduate University in Seoul, South Korea for the past eight years.
If Students have any questions for Dr. Kim, her office is located in Dr. De Soto’s old office next to Dr. Cunningham.