Northland makes adjustments: "it’s clear that we need to make more changes in order to live within our means"

49 posts / 0 new
Last post
Offline
Since
Thu, 2/11/10
Posts: 2334
Northland makes adjustments: "it’s clear that we need to make more changes in order to live within our means"

Tags: 

Northland's April 2014 Announcement

"we will continue to focus on Biblical studies, missions, and communication/ESL". To be eliminated: "the Discover. Develop. Deploy. program, our music department, and our education department, as well as our 5 school/outcome-based approach."

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
For the faculty: more than an adjustment ... a decimation

Based upon faculty page AND the above announcement: (Pink and yellow are listed as faculty for '14-15 / Blue not)

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Will they remain a University?

This isn't meant to be snarky, but can they call themselves a university after such a drastic change? "Bible College" would seem more accurate a description give the programs they intend to emphasize, though I understand that wouldn't address the concerns they were trying to address when they made the name change.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/14/11
Posts: 378
WOW!

70+% cut in teaching staff!  That is drastic and will be terribly hard to communicate credibility and stability. 

I understand hard, sweeping business decisions need to be made, but this is almost like a poison pill on a purely surface observation.

Lee

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
When these kinds of questions are raised ...
  1. What happens to my credits if my program is eliminated?
  2. Will I still be able to graduate on time?
  3. -----
  4. -----
  5. Should I come back?
  6. What programs and degrees will Northland offer next year?
  7. Will Northland help me transfer to another school?

When these kinds of questions are raised, from a parent's perspective (and maybe too from a student's)

  • Will my kid lose credits ($$ flushed down drain / loss of time)
  • Will my kid graduate on time (More $$ / another year?)
  • Programs? Well if one went there for education or music ... seems like an obvious problem 
  • What programs offered next year? Hey ... next year is 4 months away. You would think would be solidified by now!
  • Will Northland help me transfer? Observation: When this is asked ... one thinks ... begin looking now. Get those credits to transfer!
  • Is there any other obvious choice in Wisconsin? MBBC say! 
Offline
Since
Wed, 4/10/13
Posts: 158
It is just a matter of time

It is just a matter of time now.  It is not if NIU will close, but when.

Pillsbury 2.0.

TylerR's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 9/7/12
Posts: 984
Sad

NIU has been criticized a lot in SI. I have done some of the criticizing. Having said that:

  • It is a very conservative, Baptist school - I think we can all agree that is a good thing!
  • They are committed to missions, and they teach the Gospel to their students - that, too, is a good thing!
  • If they do close, it will be a major loss
  • I hope they can continue, and I hope their pruning will have the desired effect so they can march forward

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois. 

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
It may seem like Pillsbury 2.0 but it is different
  • Reminder that the genesis of Maranatha was the split between the President of Pillsbury and the Chairman of the Board of Pillsbury (well-documented somewhere (a Pratt article?) on Sharper Iron) - Update: here but some links to Pratt articles are dead. But see Pastor Jim McLeish comment (he was there!) 
  • So when MBBC's rib was taken from Pillsbury's side, Pillsbury became hobbled
  • And then experimentation by Pillsbury leadership as to it's position sounded uncertainty
  • Then aged infrastructure (well documented in recent Owatonna local newspaper) hampered Pillsbury
  • The decline of number of  MBA churches (from more 100 churches to a much lesser # today) further hampered Pillsbury. Since MBA owned Pillsbury ... MBA was the feeder system. Less churches = less students to channel to school. 
  • And then competition. Not just from MBBC (which frankly seems to do all things right! Think regional accreditation!) but also ironically from Northland
  • Add to that poor business decisions with regard to debt 

In my view Northland got off to a faulty start ... a family sponsored Bible college. (contrast with Faith (Iowa) or MBBC). Coupled that with rapid growth and poor financial controls ... spelled doom for them (they may recover!?) 

 

Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 3505
Grieved

Before we go any further on this thread, can I mention that every single one of those names is a real person with a real family and real financial needs?  This isn't abstract data, and I think we'd all be wise to remember that people are affected by this.  Some of the people on Jim's list are probably going to read this website, as a matter of fact.  Some of the names highlighted in blue on Jim's image were my professors or faculty I knew personally when I was there many years ago.

Whatever your position on NIU - and I still think that they are going in the right direction - any whoops of self-congratulation about seeing NIU's 'drift into error' or 'this is what happens when you compromise' are seriously off-base and unwarranted at this time.

***

Greg, I think that this move had to be made.  I don't like it, but I think that they had to cut in order to balance the books for the future, although I am shocked as well at the size of the cuts.  It really, probably, should have been done years ago - long before the NIU - Olson - Redeemed fiasco.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1698
Of course we are speculating,

Of course we are speculating, but I agree with Jay. This probably needed to start years ago. Now, in order to catch up, the cuts are so drastic that they are closing whole programs. This will inevitably cause current students to transfer and potential future students to head in a different direction. This will further reduce operating funds which will likely only push the school farther into a downward spiral out if which it will be extremely difficult to escape

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
A novel (say 2000 year old) idea

Patz's comment: "If you come here for four years, you will be different. You will be discipled. You will be discipled by the president, administration, faculty, staff, TA's, GA's, upperclassmen, underclassmen, and board with a passion for a big and glorious God."

Novel idea:

  • Be in a good church for discipleship! <-------------- it's in the Bible!  (and amazingly ... you don't have to pay tuition for this!) 
  • Be in a good college for a degree 
Offline
Since
Thu, 1/24/13
Posts: 55
Why the anti-NIU Jim?

It is not becoming.

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
I'm not anti-NIU

JC wrote:

It is not becoming.

I am:

  • Pro-local church
  • And realistic about Bible colleges 
  • Observation: Half of our church's pastoral staff has some sort of Northland connection: Our Sr Pastor, 2 Associate pastors, our former youth pastor. None have ever accused me of being anti-NIU.
  • I can think of a lot of good things about NIU and I've mentioned them on S/I before. We have probably 30-40 NIU grads in our church. All good servants of the Lord. Also ... while I thought that the way the changes at Northland unfolded last year were weird (I mean very weird!), I generally think the direction of the school is positive
  • About Bible colleges (and to be honest I did not go to one - I went to the University of Cincinnati): In all my study of Scripture I've never found them. Not ordained. Nothing about how they should be structured or organized. My feeling about colleges is about 2 or 3 posts above. I've felt this way for a number of years. As a aside: my wife and I each individually support a Baptist Bible college with weekly contributions from our paychecks - matched by our company. So I am not anti-Bible college. I think that not having regional accreditation is a disservice to students. AND I do think that some of the Bible college majors are poor choices for students (camping, counseling, women's ministries). Also I value college education and the need for young adults to be prepared for secular careers. 
TylerR's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 9/7/12
Posts: 984
Jim!

You wrote:

Novel idea:

Be in a good church for discipleship! <-------------- it's in the Bible!  (and amazingly ... you don't have to pay tuition for this!) 
Be in a good college for a degree 

You horrible man! How dare you say something Biblical! You make too much sense here!

Shameless plug alert - that's why MBU rules. It's more than a Bible College. It's a Christian university, and it offers quality, accredited education in fields you can, you know, actually use in the real world.  

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois. 

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
I know a young adult who ...

I know a young adult  who:

  • Went to Bible college
  • Took out student loans
  • Now works as an administrative assistant
  • And has finally after 15 years paid off the student loans 

I am anti-debt!  Both my wife and I graduated debt free from college. 2 of our 3 kids graduated debt free from college (and both received very good degrees: 1 is now at MIT, the other is a Mechanical Engineer). 

---- expanding upon this because often people think this is impossible --- 

  • We saved $ 5000 for each of our kids for college. Not much admittedly! 
  • One kid wasted $ 5000 in his first semester:
    • Wanted more. I denied. 
    • He joined the Marines and got a real practical education (including serving in Iraq) 
    • After the Marines joined the MN national guard
    • Used GI bill money to get an associates degree in engineering (Normandale Community College) and then a bachelors in engineering (from the U of Minn). Now works for Seagate in hard drive failure analysis. Currently in Afghanistan (since July '13) until June '14. he is a combat engineer and a Staff Sgt in the Mn National guard. I was Facetiming him Saturday. I said that I wanted to give him $ 1000 when he got home ... he said he didn't need it!
  • Another kid:
    • Started working at pizza place at age 14
    • At 16 became barista at a Caribou coffee shop
    • She saved and saved
    • She took 1 year of college as a Sr. in H.S. (Minn has a program called post-secondary where the state will pay for college for Jrs and Srs. She only did it her Sr year
    • She used her $ 5000 wisely
    • She worked as a barista all through college and graduated debt free. In fact she had so much left over that she took the summer off and traveled to Europe for 6 or 8 weeks. 
    • She worked at 3M for 6 years and now is at M.I.T. 

 

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
I am against the concept of "In loco parentis" in higher ed.

I'm the parent. I set the standards for my children. I would not surrender parenting to a school 

In loco parentis

I don't think the school should decide whether my kid watches "Glee" off campus for example. (And re Glee ... never seen it ... nor have my adult children (by their choice)  

Bob Hayton's picture
Offline
Since
Mon, 7/27/09
Posts: 652
NIU's direction

All that about college is good Jim.  NIU's emphasis on discipleship, though, is refreshing in light of the former demerit-heavy system of en loco parentis that used to prevail there.

I wish the best for NIU, I've met the president personally and am excited to see what he will be able to do with everything there. I'm encouraged to see more of a blend of fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism being furthered there. Best of both worlds and learning from each sphere.  

As Joel Tetreau would say, "Straight Ahead!"

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Offline
Since
Sat, 1/11/14
Posts: 124
Bob Hayton wrote:

Bob Hayton wrote:

NIU's emphasis on discipleship, though, is refreshing in light of the former demerit-heavy system of en loco parentis that used to prevail there.

Amen to that!  Rules, unchecked, can get so carried away that they become an encumbrance, rather than a help.  Consider these two widely disparate examples of Christian college "dress codes":

1. Bob Jones: http://www.bju.edu/life-faith/student-handbook.pdf (see pages 32 - 37)

Six full pages of dress code stipulations!

2. Northland: "We only ask that dress be modest and appropriate for the occasion: business attire for some formal events, dress casual for class, and casual at other times." - http://www.ni.edu/about-us/faq/

One simple, straightforward sentance!

 

 

 

 

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 21
Larry:

Larry:

That statement is fine if you actually have no standard.  What is modest and appropriate?  If it is not spelled out in some form or fashion then you basically have left modesty and appropriateness to the discretion of the student.  If this is the case why even bother with a dress statement at all?

Offline
Since
Sat, 1/11/14
Posts: 124
Kirk Mellen wrote:

Kirk Mellen wrote:

Larry:

That statement is fine if you actually have no standard.  What is modest and appropriate?  If it is not spelled out in some form or fashion then you basically have left modesty and appropriateness to the discretion of the student.  If this is the case why even bother with a dress statement at all?

One of the schools assumes that Christian students are bereft of good judgment and that micromanagement is necessary; the other assumes that Christian students can exercise good judgment, as illuminated by the Holy Spirit living within them.

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1698
Larry Nelson wrote:

Larry Nelson wrote:

 

Bob Hayton wrote:

 

NIU's emphasis on discipleship, though, is refreshing in light of the former demerit-heavy system of en loco parentis that used to prevail there.

 

 

Amen to that!  Rules, unchecked, can get so carried away that they become an encumbrance, rather than a help.  Consider these two widely disparate examples of Christian college "dress codes":

1. Bob Jones: http://www.bju.edu/life-faith/student-handbook.pdf (see pages 32 - 37)

Six full pages of dress code stipulations!

2. Northland: "We only ask that dress be modest and appropriate for the occasion: business attire for some formal events, dress casual for class, and casual at other times." - http://www.ni.edu/about-us/faq/

One simple, straightforward sentance!

 

 

 

 

Larry,

I agree that 6 pages is excessive. However, a single sentence is insufficient. People come from all kinds of backgrounds and training. Mature Christians cannot even agree on a definition and application of modesty, how in the world do you think a college is going to apply that standard, unless, as Kirk suggests, they simply don't apply it at all. There's no problem with an institution having "house rules" as long as those rules are not equated with scripture. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1698
Larry Nelson wrote:

Larry Nelson wrote:

 

Kirk Mellen wrote:

 

Larry:

That statement is fine if you actually have no standard.  What is modest and appropriate?  If it is not spelled out in some form or fashion then you basically have left modesty and appropriateness to the discretion of the student.  If this is the case why even bother with a dress statement at all?

 

 

One of the schools assumes that Christian students are bereft of good judgment and that micromanagement is necessary; the other assumes that Christian students can exercise good judgment, as illuminated by the Holy Spirit living within them.

 

Again, this is simply naive (I would say ridiculous but I don't want to be offensive). No one anywhere assumes that telling people to wear what is appropriate adequately expresses the desires and expectations of those tasked with oversight of the standard. Restaurants post signs "no shirt, no shoes, no service" rather than simply stating "dress appropriately." Business define normal dress and business casual for special days. Basic rules of communication require that communication has not happened until I have accurately transferred an idea from my head to yours. What is appropriate to me is not necessarily what is appropriate to you. Furthermore, what is appropriate to you and I is not necessarily what is appropriate to an 18 year old. I know my ideas on that matter have changed since I was a freshman in Bible college. You assume, erroneously, that the indwelling of the Spirit creates automatic maturity, wisdom, submission and obedience when this is clearly never the case for redeemed humanity.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Offline
Since
Sat, 1/11/14
Posts: 124
Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

 

Larry Nelson wrote:

 

 

Bob Hayton wrote:

 

NIU's emphasis on discipleship, though, is refreshing in light of the former demerit-heavy system of en loco parentis that used to prevail there.

 

 

Amen to that!  Rules, unchecked, can get so carried away that they become an encumbrance, rather than a help.  Consider these two widely disparate examples of Christian college "dress codes":

1. Bob Jones: http://www.bju.edu/life-faith/student-handbook.pdf (see pages 32 - 37)

Six full pages of dress code stipulations!

2. Northland: "We only ask that dress be modest and appropriate for the occasion: business attire for some formal events, dress casual for class, and casual at other times." - http://www.ni.edu/about-us/faq/

One simple, straightforward sentance!

 

Larry,

 

I agree that 6 pages is excessive. However, a single sentence is insufficient. People come from all kinds of backgrounds and training. Mature Christians cannot even agree on a definition and application of modesty, how in the world do you think a college is going to apply that standard, unless, as Kirk suggests, they simply don't apply it at all. There's no problem with an institution having "house rules" as long as those rules are not equated with scripture.

 

And yet, judging from the "modest and appropriate" appearance of the NIU student body, their minimalist standard somehow seems to suffice.

Offline
Since
Sat, 1/11/14
Posts: 124
Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Again, this is simply naive (I would say ridiculous but I don't want to be offensive).

Well, as long as you are not wanting to be offensive............:)

If their minimalist standard doesn't work on the NIU campus, where are the Goths or the Punk Rocker-wannabes?  In practice, are there blatantly immodest or inappropriately attired students on the campus?

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/14/11
Posts: 378
Larry Nelson wrote:

Larry Nelson wrote:

 

And yet, judging from the "modest and appropriate" appearance of the NIU student body, their minimalist standard somehow seems to suffice.

If modesty only references covering skin, the -30F definitely gives NIU the advantage in minimalist verbiage.  Just sayin'...........:)

Lee

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
Their "goth clothing" ...

Lee wrote:

If modesty only references covering skin, the -30F definitely gives NIU the advantage in minimalist verbiage.  Just sayin'...........:)

Their "goth clothing" is under their snow suits :) 

Reality: The climate in Dunbar Wisconsin is basically equal to Minneapolis, MN [link]

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 28
First Chance or Last Chance

College can be the first chance to treat students as adults or the last chance to treat them like children.

Offline
Since
Sat, 1/11/14
Posts: 124
Seth Johnson wrote:

Seth Johnson wrote:

College can be the first chance to treat students as adults or the last chance to treat them like children.

^^^^^This^^^^^

If Draconian rules are necessary to keep students in check, then something is clearly wrong at a Christian college.  Either the school is admitting students who shouldn't be there to begin with; or something in the school's culture itself is askew, to the point of fomenting rebellion.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1698
Larry,

Larry,

You are creating a false dichotomy. Rules don't have to be Draconian (which technically is not a function of length anyway since even one sentence could be Draconian - i.e. "everyone has to wear a black burqa"). However, they do need to clearly communicate, something the one sentence you posted does not do.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Offline
Since
Sat, 1/11/14
Posts: 124
Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Larry,

However, they do need to clearly communicate, something the one sentence you posted does not do.

And yet, as I've pointed out, that one sentence appears to suffice @ NIU.    

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1698
Larry Nelson wrote:

Larry Nelson wrote:

 

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

 

Larry,

However, they do need to clearly communicate, something the one sentence you posted does not do.

 

 

And yet, as I've pointed out, that one sentence appears to suffice @ NIU.    

How do you know? Who's to say if it's working or not? There's no standard in place. Surely you've heard the old saying if you aim for nothing you'll hit it every time. I'll bet if my city took down the speed limit signs and just put up "caution-drive appropriately" signs we'd have fewer traffic tickets for speeding too. Who's to say if we actually have less speeding in my town, or to even decide when someone actually does speed (because you know human being will inevitably push the boundaries). 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Offline
Since
Sat, 1/11/14
Posts: 124
Chip, we'll have to agree to disagree.

 

Chip, we'll have to agree to disagree.

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
? Chip

Do you have written dress standards for your church's worship services? 

In response to: "[when] there's no standard in place. Surely you've heard the old saying if you aim for nothing you'll hit it every time"

 

Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 3505
Quick Question

Has anyone here that is talking about NIU's dress standards as good or bad actually visited the school?

Just wondering.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1698
Jim wrote:

Jim wrote:

Do you have written dress standards for your church's worship services? 

In response to: "[when] there's no standard in place. Surely you've heard the old saying if you aim for nothing you'll hit it every time"

 

No, but I have had them for leadership and official service ministries. Doesn't your church have the same? Are you equating church attendance with college matriculation? You would have to compare the college student to the church member before you could even begin to have similarity. Otherwise, you are making my point. We don't have a written dress code for attendance, and we have had people assume all manner of dress was appropriate attire for a worship service. While I would not agree with all of them, we do not toss them out for inappropriate dress. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
Answering Chip

Who asked: "No, but I have had them for leadership and official service ministries. Doesn't your church have the same? Are you equating church attendance with college matriculation? You would have to compare the college student to the church member before you could even begin to have similarity."

  • Does my church have dress standards for leadership?: I believe there is a standard that someone who is in the pulpit has to wear a suit but I'm not sure. I've actually seen my pastor in shorts ... I was shocked ... I mean S H O C K E D. :) 
  • Are you equating church attendance with college matriculation? : No. I was making the point that you can actually have a society of people who dress appropriately without written standards. (There have been several times at church that some of the young women (typically teens) have shorter dresses or tighter dresses than I personally approve ... but such is life (work, shopping, etc)) 
Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1698
Jim wrote:

Jim wrote:

  • Are you equating church attendance with college matriculation? : No. I was making the point that you can actually have a society of people who dress appropriately without written standards. (There have been several times at church that some of the young women (typically teens) have shorter dresses or tighter dresses than I personally approve ... but such is life (work, shopping, etc)) 

So without a written dress code you would say:

A) Sometime people do dress inappropriately,

B) No one can say with absolute certainty when someone is dressed inappropriately because it's arbitrary, and

C) Nothing is done when someone does dress inappropriately.

That sounds exactly like what I said earlier, "If you aim for nothing, you'll hit it every time."

 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Offline
Since
Fri, 2/19/10
Posts: 998
nice thread hijacking

Subject line: Northland makes adjustments: "it’s clear that we need to make more changes in order to live within our means"

Now we are (yet again) slamming BJU. Nice. Congratulations. We can see what is going on here.

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 3505
Don

Are you serious?  We're "slamming" BJU?

Comparing the BJU student handbook and the NIU policy on dress standards is comparing aircraft and apples.  They aren't the same, and shouldn't be treated the same.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Offline
Since
Wed, 4/10/13
Posts: 158
Parents wanted it that way.

One thought I think is missing from conversations like this is that ALOT of parents wanted it that way.  I feel traditional fundy schools, i.e. BJU & NIU (in its previous form), are unfairly criticized for having rules and in the case of this conversation, dress codes.  The idea of the fundy school being an extension of parental authority is an older way of thinking.  I think we need to keep in mind that many, many parents & dare I say, students, wanted it that way.  In other words, it wasn't as if BJU was forcing on people something nobody wanted.  During the period when BJU's rules were the toughest (50's-80's) was when their enrollment was the highest.  It was during the early-middle 90's when NIU had those "Draconian" & overbearing rules and the idea of, gasp!!, en loco parentis, that its enrollment exploded.

Rules and dress codes are fine as long as they aren't equated with scripture.  The rule book and dress code manual can be 12" thick, no problem, as long as they aren't brought up to the same level as scripture.  And this is exactly what NIU was pretty good at doing.  Dr. Ollila made it a special point to note that the many of the rules in place were for organizational purposes and were not equal with scripture.

However, once you sign on the dotted line that you agree to abide by the rules and then you don't, then any organization has the right to call you on it.  This is the point that I think many people get hung-up.  People didn't like being held accountable to the rules they agreed to live by and so they call BJU or NIU "legalistic."  If you don't like the rules, then don't go to that school or work at that company.  If you are going to go, then have the maturity to follow the authority you signed-up for.

So, go ahead and rip on BJU & NIU for their current/former "demerit heavy system", but just remember most of their market asked/is asking for it.

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6525
I don't have an issue with student rules / handbook

As long as they are freely available to students & parents before any $$ changes hands. 

BJU has a lot of strengths and I appreciate the school. 

I do like NIU's approach better for a number of reasons

Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 3505
MMartin

MMartin, I really appreciated that last post of yours.  You're dead on.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Offline
Since
Fri, 2/19/10
Posts: 998
Jay, what is the subject line about?

Jay wrote:

Are you serious?  We're "slamming" BJU?

Comparing the BJU student handbook and the NIU policy on dress standards is comparing aircraft and apples.  They aren't the same, and shouldn't be treated the same.

And read the article. Where does any of this say anything about BJU or dress codes?

What is the point of introducing the subject? What is the tenor of the comments? (Hint: less rules good, more rules bad)

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
"America’s War on Yoga Pants"

I saw this story and it made me think of this thread...

http://boston.com/lifestyle/fashion/2014/04/10/america-war-yoga-pants/C7...

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Bob Hayton's picture
Offline
Since
Mon, 7/27/09
Posts: 652
Going back to Chip's point.

Chip your points illustrate why I love the discipling approach.  Instead of being left with a huge rulebook to apply on their own, and only learning when a demerit slip is handed to them, students will be discipled. Yes in the administration's eye, there is more to dress than one sentence. But how you get there is by coming alongside the naive young college student, and modeling/counseling them on how to dress modestly and appropriately.  That will go much farther than creating a system where student chafe against a system of rules that lives and breathes on its own, with committees who judge whether or not violations of the code happened, and how much the demerit / disciplinary action should be.

And this isn't about NIU vs. BJU.  It is NIU's philosophy over and against a host of schools, my alma mater (Fairhaven Baptist) and PCC among them.

And yes, this is tangential, but all I was saying is I'm encouraged to see the direction Northland is taking as it treads financial water and tries to continue to stay true to its mission.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1698
One thing that no one has

One thing that no one has dealt with is why this is assumed to be a dichotomous issue. Why can't you have demerits and discipleship? Why do you assume discipling doesn't/can't happen when demerits are being used? I like discipling better in an informal setting, like a family. But in a school setting, where a student may need to be expelled and where parents or students may take umbrage with admin's decision and sue, it is essential to be able to document what has transpired. If you are documenting the discipling, how is that different than demerits?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Chip...

I have tended to agree with you about the merits of specificity when it comes to dress requirements. But for sake of argument- the Bible requires us to be kind to each other. Why don't institutions regulate that more specifically, and hand out demerits to students who fail to be as kind as they ought to? Isn't it important?

Well, I, for one, am glad institutions haven't taken it to the point where they provide students with requirements to greet a fellow student or faculty member within x seconds, or penalizing grumpiness or rudeness with demerits in order to foster an environment of Christian kindness. Kindness can be encouraged without resorting to specific requirements. That doesn't mean it isn't important or isn't an institutional priority.

I think the level of specificity we have given these things has communicated a great deal about where appearance ranks on our list of priorities- perhaps even helped established it to a level of greater significance in our Fundamentalist sub-culture than it in facts deserves in comparison to other Christian virtues. Maybe one line is an overreaction, but at the same time, I think it is perhaps part of a reaction to the pendulum swinging so far in the other direction.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Bob Hayton's picture
Offline
Since
Mon, 7/27/09
Posts: 652
Update re: the original post

Hi,

I talked to someone on Northland's administration, who gave some more context surrounding the changes this post reported on. Let me quote from him as I think he makes some helpful clarifications.

...the 70% reductions statement is ridiculously errant. The list shown on the site includes all adjunct teachers even if they only teach one class. The list Daniel posted only listed full-time professors and no adjuncts or staffs. Additionally it should be noted that while finances have forced us to take a hard look at the facts in the end how we pruned and where we pruned was based on a conviction to do a few things and do them well. We want to be the best we can be at training Christian leaders, pastors, and missionaries. We may add more majors in the future but only when we can do it with excellence. This is also a positive first step toward Regional Accreditation. For RA we must be financially stable and have faculty with terminal degrees. A quick look at our faculty bios shows what an amazingly qualified group of profs we do have.

Hopefully this helps in digesting the announcement. As I said before, I'm encouraged by NIU's direction and sure wish God's blessings on them as they navigate through a difficult transition.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

TylerR's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 9/7/12
Posts: 984
Bob

Thanks for the update. I do hope that NIU emerges from this pruning as a stronger institution and wish them the best. 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois.