In this article, I will be examining the long-term friendship between Thomas White and Mindy May. Thomas White is a protege of Paige Patterson, this relationship has influenced Thomas White to such a degree that he operates in much the same way Paige Patterson operated; this is especially obvious in the way White surrounds himself with a small cadre of individuals who are fiercely loyal to him. White rewards their loyalty with long term employment, not concerning himself with the fact that his friends may not be the best choice for the job, or even qualified for the job.
White and Patterson also have a strong sense of entitlement. Rules are for the serfs, not the royalty. Lying and covering up are justified in their minds, as demonstrated in the Anthony Moored scandal. White wanted to give his good friend, Anthony Moore, a job, the fact that Moore was a sexual predator did not phase White in the least.
One of Cedarville University’s core values is integrity. I believe Thomas White has demonstrated a serious lack of integrity in his conduct over the years. It will be interesting to see if the Cedarville Board of Trustees upholds the core values of the institution. If White retains his job as President of CU you can be sure that a majority of men on the BOT lack integrity. At that point, they will have demonstrated to the world that Cedarville University’s Core Values are nothing more than hollow words.
The “Iron Lady” Mindy May says she highly values integrity. One, therefore, wonders if she feels at all conflicted working for her great friend and role model, Thomas White? Has the revelation of Thomas White’s lack of integrity which has come to light over the past few months shaken May’s devotion and fierce loyalty to Thomas White? How can Ms. May justify the enforcement of the Student Code of Conduct while winking at Thomas White’s lack of integrity in the Anthony Moore scandal and the participation in the cover-up of the Megan Lively rape?
-Link to the above article.
-Link to the above article.
“Jennifer Beck was the director of the counseling center there at Cedarville when Dr. White became president. Jennifer Beck was independently licensed as a clinical therapist since 2008. When Dr. White came in, she was just the interim director. They actually interviewed several people and hired a new interim director. And it wasn’t Jennifer Beck. And she said at the time that she got asked a lot of questions from the administration, felt like there wasn’t a lot of trust with the professional counselors that they had. And the person that got the position, which I know is going to come up a lot in your story, is somebody by the name of Mindy May. Mindy is not a professional licensed counselor. So she was hired as the head of the counseling department and she’s not a licensed professional counselor. Beck told me that during a meeting with administrators and some of the counselors at Cedarville, when they announced that Mindy May was going to take over some of the counselors said, “Well, is this a problem, that she’s not a licensed professional counselor?” And the response that Beck said that they got from an administrator was that that was baffling that they would ask that, and that reportedly, the administrator said that the state licensure is just the state imposing its standards and worldview on a Christian institution.”
-Julie Roys, “Rape Victim at Cedarville Asks: “Where was my protection?”
I recommend that everyone click on the link above and listen to Julie Roys’ interview of a former Cedarville student who suffered greatly during her short time at the institution. Pay special attention to the lack of loving care she received from Mindy May, Jon Wood, and Thomas White. This trio were close friends at SWBTS and White recruited his pals to work for him at Cedarville.
Cedarville faculty members immediately raised concerns with Thomas White regarding the hiring of Mindy May for the position of “Director of Counseling.” Chief among their concerns was the fact that Mindy May was not a licensed professional counselor in either Texas or Ohio. (May did go on to obtain a Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling from SWBTS, which is a version of the nouthetic approach.) Concerns were also raised that May would be supervising licensed counselors as their superior/boss. White brushed off their legitimate concerns. (More about this below.)
Faculty and staff quickly realized that if you were not a member of White’s inner circle of friends (see photo below) questioning him on any subject could elicit a harsh response and possibly even be a career-threatening move. Here is an example cited by Ruth Lowrie Markham, a former professor:
“Several weeks later, at a town hall meeting with faculty, one individual who was on the tenure committee asked Reno why so many faculty who had been approved by the university tenure committee had been denied tenure by him. He stated that the board received a full packet of information on each faculty member who was up for tenure and they voted on them with that information. I raised my hand and stated that Dr. White (who was also in attendance) told me directly that the board of trustees would only receive a list of names of those who were not approved for tenure. Reno said that, no, that wasn’t correct, they had a whole portfolio of information on each individual who was up for tenure. I addressed Dr. White at that time and stated, “That’s not what you said to me.” He stood up and said, “I’m putting a stop to this right now.” I sat down and shut up, which is what I think he wanted all along.”
In the video above, Mindy May mentions that three members of her “Mindy May Life Team” were moving from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to Cedarville University. Thomas White was one of the three. He offered May a job at Cedarville, but May turned the offer down. After arriving in Cedarville, Jon Wood, whom I assume was another of the party of three who were leaving for Cedarville, called Mindy May and convinced her to pay a visit to the Cedarville campus. After her visit, May accepted the position of “Director of Counseling Services” and moved to Cedarville, beginning her new job as Director of Counseling on January 6, 2014. I assume the third member of the “Mindy May Life Team” was Zach Bowden.
Left to right: Jason Lee(Bible Dept. Chair), Zachary Bowden, Thomas White, JG Duesing,
Mindy May, Jon Wood, Billy Marsh
As mentioned above, the faculty of Cedarville University has very limited input with Thomas White. Many are fearful of saying anything for fear of losing their job. They also are fearful of saying anything negative about CU in emails or on social media. One limited avenue they do have is the “Faculty Committee to the President” (FCP). The FCP is a group that represents faculty and holds occasional meetings with the president. Faculty are elected to the committee by peers. It is an advisory committee only. It has no voting power and it is not a faculty senate. It merely brings topics to the president and then communicates back to the faculty. It tries to be an advocacy group for faculty concerns and needs, but it has no power beyond advising and apprising the president of issues.
An anonymous CU faculty member has provided me with the minutes from four FCP meetings along with some helpful commentary. I have combined all four sets of minutes into one document and placed it on Scribd. The document can be viewed at the end of this article. I have also taken some screenshots from each meeting and will display those individually along with explanatory comments from my anonymous friend.
By way of introduction, here is what my source wrote to me:
“Initially, my goal was just to show the grave concern faculty felt for Mindy May’s dual role in student life and counseling, in addition to her lack of licensure. These minutes show that this issue was raised with Dr. White and he was warned at least three times over a two-year span. As I read these minutes, though, I had trouble focusing only on the student counseling issue because the same additional problems kept resurfacing: faculty fear, gun culture, mysterious changes to faculty documents such as the handbook and our contracts, and the chipping away of shared governance.”
-Shows the level of fear faculty works under. Fear of emails and social media being read. In fact, at least one staff member was let go for a social media post. Dr. White told her we do not publicly bash our friends after she shared an article about a sexual predator associated with the SBC. Yet, we know how victims are subject to public shaming. Many faculty report the need for professional treatment to help them deal with the fear and anxiety they work in. One current faculty wrote to me that he has sought counseling in recent years for help with anxiety and depression, and he knows of other faculty who have also. These faculty told him working at Cedarville under the White, Reno and Mach administration became increasingly discouraging and worsened other issues in their lives to the point where they sought professional help. One faculty member reported that the counselor they were seeing said “I know of many colleagues in the area who have been seeing more and more clients from Cedarville University in the past few years.”
-It is in these minutes the FCP first brought the concerns widely shared from across campus to Dr. White’s attention regarding the ethics of having Mindy May, an unlicensed professional, in charge of both student counseling and student life where she was in a position to discipline. Here he asks for an opportunity to rectify the situation before people report it to the HLC. It is brought up in nearly every FCP meeting for years after, yet the formal HLC complaint filed on behalf of many current and former faculty, staff, and students was not filed until 2020. White had ample opportunity to fix it, yet chose not to. The question is, why?”.
-The FCP voices concerns about the lack of faculty governance. White ignores the fact it is an HLC mandate. White attempts to list examples of our “shared governance.” In reality, concerns brought to Dr. White by the FCP are almost always dismissed out of hand, and the committee itself has been reduced to an information gathering committee as though they are working as administrative assistants to the President as opposed to representatives elected by their peers to advise the President on significant faculty perspectives. Faculty Academic Advisory Committee (FAAC)speaks only to academic issues, not policy or discipline, and the University Tenure and Promotion Committee (UTPC) was proven powerless in 2017 when half of the faculty they recommended for tenure was denied such by administration.
-Again, role of FCP diminished when the FCP asked to host town hall meetings and were told no. When asked if they could hold luncheons, the FCP was told they could but only to focus on such benign questions as, “How is the new advising system working out?”.
-These minutes document how new criteria for integration papers, the process for which had been in place and outlined in the handbook, were changed without faculty input or knowledge.
-The FCP again expressed concern about the HLC mandate for shared governance and warned it could be a problem for the institution.
-Again, on behalf of faculty across the university, the FCP pointed out the inappropriateness of the lack of separation between counseling services and student life. Dr. White states we have “safeguards in place.” This begs the question, safeguards for whom?” Students? Or the University?
-Concerns about concealed carry are raised.
-Once again addressing Counseling Services, faculty expressed concern about the idea of allowing faculty to “mentor” students in need of counseling instead of getting them the professional help they were requesting and needing.
-The section on changes to the handbook shows the level of faculty distrust. Changes seemed to be just appearing without conversation or notification.
-Shows how shared governance was continuing to be squashed. For example, White states he doesn’t need faculty input on creating an additional level of administration (AVPA), and the request for a faculty square to “discuss common concerns” was denigrated to a place to “have fellowship.”
-The statement regarding M. Lopez’s resignation from the committee is not surprising. He had been vocal about his objections to the changes being made to the handbook and this had brought him much stress and scrutiny by the administration. At an FCP meeting prior to this one, Dr. White had shouted at M. Lopez in an attempt to silence him to the point where the atmosphere became so secular and unnerving that one FCP member asked to pause the meeting so she could pray for those present.
-These minutes outline how the University Tenure and Promotion Committee (UTPC) had lost all power, leaving administration to pick and choose who received tenure based on vague reasons and expectations. It is difficult to justify denying tenure to faculty members who were approved by literally tens of their peers on one hand while knowingly putting a sexual predator in the classroom on the other.
-Once again the issue of concealed carry arises. It should have been clear by this point that a substantial number of faculty holders and stakeholders opposed it, and it should have been dropped. However, Dr. White’s desire to create a gun culture on campus eventually prevailed and CU became the first institution of higher learning in the state of Ohio to allow concealed carry on campus.
One additional document I would like to draw your attention to is a PDF file found at this link:
The document contains a warning to current and potential students as well as a very helpful link to all the various blog articles that have exposed the Anthony Moore/Thomas White scandal. Give it a look!