July 30, 2018 This is the sending date of some of the letters students received that confirmed their claims of racist words, actions, and policies perpetuated by ULS faculty, staff, and Acting-President Jim Dunlop. To be clear many claims of racism were made by students and staff. Many of these claims seem to have been substantiated by CCI Consulting; the second independent human resources firm hired by the Board of Trustees. At this time none of the perpetrators of these racists acts have been held to account for these actions. Some have resigned, some have been removed for unrelated issues, and some still sit in our midst without a full and proper commitment to public confession and verifiable right action. No mention of the many substantiated claims of racism has been given to the ULS community by the board which then allows these racist actions to be labeled as individualistic and not rightly contextualized as part of the ongoing systemic issue of racism at ULS. In truth, at least one of the substantiated claims made by students is that the Board of Trustees as a whole delayed their response to ULS racism. This delay continues as the ULS community prepares for the next Board meeting on Sept. 25 and 26, 2018.
The current Board of Trustees members who have been rightly indicted by this substantiated claim (due to their tenure on the board) are Bishop Jim Dunlop, Rev. Peter Boehringer (current board chair), Cheryl Williams, Rev. Canon Nancy Deming, Rev. Julia Fraser, Kris Hansen-Kieffer, Dr. James Lakso, Chris Mondics, Fred Risser, Dr. Tommie Robinson Jr., David A. Russell, and Paul Wangerin. While it is likely true that some of these members were unaware of Jim Dunlop’s substantiated acts of racism their not knowing does not excuse them from their current, corporate silence and delayed response to ongoing ULS racism.
This timeline went through an extensive vetting from April of 2018 through the present to ensure that it is true, and it was shared with ULS leadership routinely from April through September. It is only after this timeline was made public (Oct. 10, 2018) that Bishop Dunlop resigned from the ULS Board of Trustees. Rightly contextualized, Bishop Dunlop’s actions may be seen as both an individual’s acts which are also part of the ongoing systemic issue of racism specific to ULS. Many of the proposed policies in the ULS Policy Survey seek to address these ongoing systemic issues in the ULS community. This announcement is part of the timeline of racism at United Lutheran Seminary