Dr. Gregory P. Schulz is a tenured professor at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), a Lutheran Church/Missouri Synod institution. He teaches philosophy and is a Lutheran pastor with over 40 years of experience in ministry either in a local parish or in higher education.
When Dr. Schulz published an article on February 14 critical of CUW’s “woke-ness” in its search for a new university president for the 8,000-student institution, he was immediately suspended from his teaching duties until he publicly recants.
And for good measure, Dr. Schulz was immediately barred from campus. The callous swiftness of the administration’s retaliation was stunning. He had hit a nerve.
“Woke Dysphoria at Concordia,” the title of Schulz’ February 14 article in The Christian News, complained that CUW was “coming under the influence of Woke-ism,” which he described as “a potent cocktail of Progressivism, Neo-Pragmatism, and Marxism.” Instead of searching for a new president from a list of 11 candidates given to the university’s Board of Regents by the Synod – a list which included Dr. Schulz as a qualified candidate – the Board decided to ignore the Synod and start a new search for a candidate with social justice credentials.
Those credentials include a president who exhibits a “demonstrated belief in and commitment to equity and inclusion” and promotes racialized “diversity in all its myriad forms.”
“These are aggressive-progressive Woke mantras,” Schulz warned in his article. What the university is really looking for, he said, is someone “who would thus be radically different from spiritual and educational leadership as authoritatively described in the Scriptures.”
“The lynchpin issue is this: The Woke agenda (DIE, for Diversity, Inclusion, Equity) is utterly opposed to texts and to textual authority. In theory (such as it is) and in practice, the Woke agenda being championed by our [Board of Regents] committees is literally an illiterate philosophy of education that has no place for authoritative texts. For example, Woke-ness has no place for authoritative texts such as the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. It also has no place for the authority of the biblical text.”
The university’s retribution for the article came so fast that officials there botched what little procedural niceties it provided by way of notice to Dr. Schulz. In fact, according to his attorneys at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), Schulz initially didn’t even see the email notifying him of his suspension because his university email account was frozen before he could read it. His department chair let him know of his suspension on Saturday, February 19. The next day, campus security notified Dr. Schulz that he was not welcome on campus.
WILL’s attorneys, Reichard Esenberg and Daniel Lennington, wrote the university on February 21, asking for the reasons for Schulz’ suspension. “Suffice it to say, Dr. Schulz has received none of the due process promised by his contract,” they wrote. “Nor is he aware of any contractually permissible basis for suspension.”
Schulz’ quest to keep his job has also attracted support from organizations such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the Academic Freedom Alliance. There’s also a Change.org petition with nearly 6,000 signatures asking Concordia Interim President Dr. William Cario and Chairman of the Board of Regents Mr. Richard Laabs to, “Rescind and repent of your suspension of Professor Rev. Gregory Schulz, Ph.D for discussing how Christian values have been subordinated to the doctrine of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in your board of regent’s search for a University President.”
It’s bad enough when public school parents have to fight against the woke indoctrination happening in those schools, but when Christian institutions are threatened with the same agenda, it’s time for dissenting voices such as Dr. Schulz to step up and alert the Church. Hopefully the good professor can not only keep his job but will cause positive change at Concordia because of his bold stand.
Photo from Concordia FB.