Ruth A. Tucker, Ph.D.
Teacher, Author, Conference Speaker
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Calvin Theological Seminary
I received a phone call from a CTS professor, informing me of a faculty opening and requesting my curriculum vitae.
I successfully sustained interviews with the Ministry Division, full faculty, CTS Board, Christian Reformed Church Synod.
I officially joined the faculty of CTS.
Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. was installed as the new president of CTS.
With no warning, I was given a Reappointment Evaluation that recommended I be
granted "a one year terminal appointment."
I appealed to the full CTS Board, asking that the evidence be opened. My appeal was denied with no review of my case.
I remained apart from the faculty, feeling depressed, excluded and isolated.
In a meeting with 2 administrators and my division chair I stated, among other things, my need for mediation. No action was taken.
I wrote to the academic dean, requesting mediation. The request was denied.
I met with a CRC denominational leader and later with him and CTS Board officers to appeal for mediation and a review my case.
A CTS Ad Hoc committee reviewed documents and interviewed the 3 CTS administrators and me. Their report called for "redress" for me.
Two mediators were retained to bring resolution to my case. They called for specific redress for me, including "retroactive pay to 2003." The CTS Board officers, at the urging of the administrators, disregarded the report.
I was allowed 15 minutes to speak to the faculty, at which time I stated that I could not continue to teach at the seminary.
My teaching career at CTS ended.
2. "We think that if the seminary goes to court, it will probably lose, in part,
because Ruth is well documented."
3. "Much more evidence was needed, as well as documentation of
non-compliance . . . before her removal from tenure track."
4. "We recommend that Ruth be appointed full professor . . . at this time."
5. "We also recommend retroactive pay to January 2003."
6. "We support the suggestions made by the Ad Hoc Committee for addressing
Observed Deficiencies in the Re-Appointment Procedures."
7. "The allegations of 'ungodly' behavior will be deleted and acknowledged by
administration to be inflammatory."
"a one year terminal appointment. . . . A terminal appointment means that your service at Calvin Theological Seminary will end when the 2003-2004 academic year is completed."
- When I was first told I was getting a terminal appointment, there had been no warningóno letters, memos, assessments. Is that good process?
- There was no consultation with my Division chair who strongly opposed the action. Was that good process?
- [The Ministry Divisionís unanimous vote to recommend my reappointment was ignored. Was that good process?]
- There was no consultation with you my colleagues. Was that good process?
- There was a tight time restriction for my appeal to the full Board, 20 minutes, with no opportunity for questions or interaction. Was that good process?
- During the 2004 reappointment process, when I sought to appeal to the Board, I received a memo from Henry stating that "if you appeal, you will harm yourself and your cause. We will inform the Executive of this opinion . . . prior to the Executive deciding whether or not to receive your presentation." I read the writing on the wall and backed down and did not make an appeal. Was that good process?
- False hearsay evidence was passed on to the Faculty Status Committee (resulting in a second term off tenure track) with no opportunity given me to respond. Was that good process?
expected to play 'hard ball' with the men on the faculty, which the author was not necessarily objecting to. The only problem is that women are expected to play 'hard ball' with a 'puff ball.' This is how I sometimes feel at CTS. . . . The message I sometimes seem to get from the current administration (and on some of the faculty evaluations) is that, if I play ball at all, it better be with a 'puff ball.' There is not a level playing field for women on the CTS faculty."
"It happens in ministry. I flee the face of God for a world of religion, where I can manipulate people and acquire godlike attributes to myself. The moment I entertain the possibility of glory for myself, I want to blot out the face of the Lord and seek a place where I can develop my power. Anyone can be so tempted, but pastors have the temptation compounded because we
have a constituency with which to act godlike. Unlike other temptations, this one easily escapes detection, passing itself off as a virtue." (87)
I was just asked that. I probably wouldn't be putting this in print if it were falling apart! John is fantastic. Indeed, I never could have imagined marriage could be so incredibly good. I kid people that he had 2 previous (and wonderful) wives who whipped him into shape before I got him.
So, is this case taking a toll on the marriage? Apart from the usual spats (See post onNagging on River-Rat Reflections), we have had only one fight over this. Well, not really a fight, but an ongoing difference of opinion and reaction.
He wants to tell 'them' off. I won't let him. Now, he's got a mind of his own. So, if he tells someone off, it will be without my knowledge or consent.
On one occasion this almost happened as we were heading to the parking lot (after a funeral, no less!) He started out in another direction, muttering under his breath, I'm going to talk to _______. I said, in horror, "Donít you dare!" I thought I was going to have to wrestle him to the ground in the parking lot of the church, but fortunately he came to his senses.
This case is documented. It's not a he said/she said case. Nothing will be gained, dear husband John, if you tell 'them' off.