July/August 2018

At least one staff person and one faculty person resign and/or are removed from their positions due at least in part to substantiated claims of racism and/or discrimination based upon race. Both the Philadelphia and Gettysburg campus communities have new Deans of Chapel for the 2018/2019 academic year. Rather than addressing the ongoing and systemic issue of racism within the institution, which while present prior to Jim Dunlop’s term as acting-president seems to have become emboldened by his brazen words spoken against students of African descent in a staff meeting, these former employees with substantiated claims of racism on file are publicly thanked for their service by the seminary leadership.

While individual leaders have expressed support for students privately, the faculty as a whole, administration, board, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (which was informed of racism at ULS by Rev. Pat Davenport on April 17, 2018) have persisted in their silence toward the past, current, and ongoing racism at United Lutheran Seminary and left students in despair.

Many, possibly all board current members who preceded or came on the board at the same time as Bishop Jim Dunlop recused themselves from investigating his racist words and actions. Therefore these same board members recused themselves of their full duties as members of the Board. At least one of the substantiated claims made by students is that the Board of Trustees as a whole was delayed in their response to 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. As of July 2018 many complaints against Jim Dunlop were now substantiated and reported to the board. Yet Jim Dunlop still retained his seat on the board without acknowledging why many in the ULS community found his presence problematic to reconciliation and moving forward. It is only after this timeline was made public (Oct. 10, 2018) that Bishop Dunlop resigned from the ULS Board of Trustees. Rightly contextualized, all of these employee’s acts of discrimination and racism may be seen as both individual 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