April 1, 2018 An additional complaint of racism is filed against Dr. Krentz with the Dean and the students faculty advisor. At this time more ELCA seminarians also inform their candidacy committees of racism present at ULS. It is important to note here that this complaint has been investigated and substantiated (in July 2018) by the human resources firm hired by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Krentz then resigned as a member of the ULS faculty (August 2018). No mention of the students substantiated claims is given which allows his actions to be labeled as individualistic and not rightly contextualized as both an individual’s acts which are also part of the ongoing systemic issue of racism at ULS. Many of the proposed policies in the ULS Policy Survey seek to address these ongoing systemic issues in the ULS community.
Here is a portion of that formal complaint:
This opening email is somewhat of a combining of #1 and #2 in the handbook’s section on “Student Complaint and Grievance Procedure” in addition to a conversation on how we move forward as a community… I’ve included Dean Sebastian and my advisor in this email. As you are likely aware, the Dean has never once wavered in his support of you, and I have asked of you both at various times the reasoning and traditions utilized to reach the decisions you’ve come to regarding chapel leadership in my 20 months as a seminarian.
I have the utmost respect for the artfulness of your musicianship and your skill at the keyboard. My deep respect for your musical discipline however does not translate into respect for the troubling speech you’ve utilized in recent weeks with students of color, most notably your statement about “mutiny” to [students name omitted] after a Board meeting and statements made in classes… I need you to respond to the accusations of racist words and actions described to me by my peers. I still hold some slim hope that there might be some reconciliation, but this won’t happen without more dialog. This email is my part in continuing that dialog in the hope of reconciliation.
…In the light of all that’s been reported to me by my peers since that conversation on February 28 I am left with the most likely option that you said and did these things and are unconsciously or consciously motivated to discriminate based on a students African American identity. …If ULS students, faculty, board and our acting-president do not act now to protect our peers of color from racist power dynamics in both classroom and chapel, we create an unhealable wound. Many of us are sensing that the Spirit is calling us to acts of justice for the sake of our siblings in Christ who are in more vulnerable positions. Are you sensing this call too? If so, I implore you to act upon the Spirits direction. If you have any additional insight here I would be glad to hear it…
This announcement is part of the timeline of racism at United Lutheran Seminary