We are disappointed an agreement could not be reached before GRACE went public yesterday and posted their statement on the GRACE website before sending it to the BJU executive team
Despite taking any sides, here are just a few general comments:
-It is sad that two institutions that claim to hold Christian values, are led by Christian men, who both strive to serve God, have to get to a point such as this. It is a travesty and a disgrace. Not a good example.
-This is now the second institution that has had problems with GRACE's approach to the interview process. Whether it is right or wrong, the fact that two high profile institutions having dropped them, in my mind raises concern, without pointing blame.
Posted this on the previous BJU/GRACE thread:
1. DavidO pointed out something that everyone else seems to have missed: "The reason(s) for termination stated in BJU's letter to GRACE ["the ongoing challenges of leadership change"] are not the same as those in the BJU official announcement ["we grew concerned about how GRACE was pursuing our objectives"]." This requires some explanation. There may be a legitimate explanation, but none has been given.
2. The fact that both ABWE and BJU terminated GRACE proves nothing either way. All we have are ABWE's unproven complaints about GRACE's mishandling of that investigation and GRACE's unproven defenses of its investigation. We have even less than that much information about the BJU termination. It could well be that GRACE has mishandled both investigations. But it could just as well be that GRACE did its job in both instances and both ABWE and BJU wanted to avoid a negative report (or that GRACE handled one well and botched the other). Given the subject matter of the investigations that GRACE exists to do, it's entirely foreseeable that sooner or later one or more client organization is going to have a change of heart, and in that situation the client is unlikely to concede that GRACE did a good job but the client just doesn't want the report to come out. I am NOT saying that's what happened with ABWE or BJU. I am saying that it's silly to presume that BJU must be right about GRACE (or even that BJU is more likely to be right about GRACE) because ABWE also complained about GRACE.
I would be slow to say that Stephen's public announcement and the letter do not square with each other. The letter mentions that they would like a new contract that will enable them to fulfill the objectives cited in the letter. Sure, it does not directly charge GRACE with deviating, but it puts the issue of unfulfilled objectives on the table. That allows the two statements to be harmonized, especially since: (1) Stephen said that they had been seeking to have a meeting to explain their concerns; and (2) it is true that leadership changes at BJU have now entered into the equation. I don't see anything contradictory here.
BJU has for decades been Tiger Woods & Michael Jordan-like in controlling and manipulating their message and image so it is hard to know what to think about Stephen's comments. With BJU suspending, at least for the time being, their relationship with GRACE it is easy to think BJU doesn't like where the investigation is going because it will make them look bad. As much as Stephen Jones has improved BJU's attitude it is still legitimate to wonder if BJU truly means they are committed to this investigation.
GRACE doesn't look that great either by apparently going public about the status of their relationship with BJU and that this is the second organization that has had questions about their investigative methods.
I hope BJU and GRACE can get their differences ironed out and that GRACE will be able to finish their investigation and produce their report.
There are those out there saying they have communicated with GRACE privately (filed a report and been interviewed), but are now going public (media) with their private statements. This would be not be a wise thing to do, especially since Dr. Jones stated that BJU has every intention of seeing this thing through to the end, including publishing a public report of the findings.