Students call for transparency as Cornerstone University guts humanities programs

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Religion

(RNS) — Meredith Mead, a conservative Christian with a love of words, enrolled in Cornerstone University three years ago, choosing the 83-year-old nondenominational school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, over other top Christian schools because of its creative writing major.When she received an email from the university on June 13 announcing her major had been cut, she said, it felt like a gut punch.
“The more I read it, just the more sick I felt,” Mead told Religion News Service. “I’m looking at a list saying you are enrolled in a major that no longer exists, and just trying to wrap my mind around, what does that look like?”
Adding to the confusion, a report began to circulate that all humanities and arts programs had been cut. Then a local news outlet reported that while some humanities programs had been combined, they hadn’t all been eliminated. Students turned to social media to find out what they could.
On June 19, an anonymous Instagram account called Voice of CU emerged, offering to pass the Cornerstone community’s concerns along to the administration. Since the initial announcement, however, the university still hasn’t publicly confirmed which professors have been impacted.
Heidi Cece, vice president for enrollment management and marketing, maintained that there were no terminations, but “some positions were eliminated tied to very low or no student program enrollment,” and all individuals were “offered extensive severance.”
RNS confirmed that at least six professors left involuntarily: Cynthia Beach (English and creative writing), Michael Stevens (English), Jason St …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nn(RNS) — Meredith Mead, a conservative Christian with a love of words, enrolled in Cornerstone University three years ago, choosing the 83-year-old nondenominational school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, over other top Christian schools because of its creative writing major.When she received an email from the university on June 13 announcing her major had been cut, she said, it felt like a gut punch.
“The more I read it, just the more sick I felt,” Mead told Religion News Service. “I’m looking at a list saying you are enrolled in a major that no longer exists, and just trying to wrap my mind around, what does that look like?”
Adding to the confusion, a report began to circulate that all humanities and arts programs had been cut. Then a local news outlet reported that while some humanities programs had been combined, they hadn’t all been eliminated. Students turned to social media to find out what they could.
On June 19, an anonymous Instagram account called Voice of CU emerged, offering to pass the Cornerstone community’s concerns along to the administration. Since the initial announcement, however, the university still hasn’t publicly confirmed which professors have been impacted.
Heidi Cece, vice president for enrollment management and marketing, maintained that there were no terminations, but “some positions were eliminated tied to very low or no student program enrollment,” and all individuals were “offered extensive severance.”
RNS confirmed that at least six professors left involuntarily: Cynthia Beach (English and creative writing), Michael Stevens (English), Jason St …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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