Dr. Ruth Lowrie Markham Recaps Her Meeting With Cedarville University President, Dr. Thomas White

Dr. Ruth Lowrie Markham (l).

This article features notes Dr. Ruth Lowrie Markham wrote after a meeting with Cedarville University’s President, Dr. Thomas White. 

Prior to reading her notes, it would be helpful to review what led up to her meeting with Dr. White. You may read the full story in an article  Dr. Markham wrote on my former blog, “Thou Art The Man.”

Below are some excerpts that have been taken from Dr. Marhkam’s article.

“I have been a licensed/certified School Psychologist since 1982. I have primarily worked in the public schools, but over the years have also worked with Christian schools, parochial schools, homeschoolers, and overseas with MKs. I started teaching adjunct at CU in 2003, when I was working part-time in public schools. I was hired as tenure track full-time faculty in the summer of 2011. I felt comfortable with where the school was heading under Dr. Brown’s administration, and I felt very comfortable with my department (psychology).

…I worked my way through the tenure process with progress noted each time. At each step, two-year, four-year, and six-year tenure reviews, I was given unanimous approval from my department, and then from the university faculty tenure committee at the final review. The next to last step was a required interview by the Academic Vice President (AVP), who had just that year been appointed by Dr. White. Dr. White had promised the faculty some input about this decision, but then went ahead and appointed Loren Reno without input or approval from faculty. The last step would be an interview with the board of trustees, but that only happens if you are approved for tenure by White/AVP.

…When I scheduled my interview with Reno’s administrative assistant, she said it usually only took about 15-20 minutes. My interview with Reno lasted three hours, across two different days.

…After the interview, which was in December, I heard nothing until well into January 2017. The chair of my department called me into his office and shared a letter from Reno stating that I would not be granted tenure. There was no explanation. When I asked for an explanation, my chair shared that he and the chair of the university tenure committee together met with Reno to argue for my case, but he would not be persuaded. My chair also shared that he was forbidden from telling me what was said in that meeting

…I remember feeling so frustrated that this one interview with one man stopped everything, and I had no recourse. I asked my department chair for advice/permission to speak to Dr. White about this, which he encouraged me to do. I had to ask multiple times before White would consent to talk to me. When he did agree, his first suggestion (which came from his secretary) was to meet him at the front of the auditorium after chapel one day. I said that would not work for me and asked to meet him in my office or his. He finally agreed to meet me in his office. He was cold and unresponsive throughout our meeting, which lasted about 15 minutes.” 

At this point, I need to mention a disturbing lack of professionalism that several individuals have encountered when dealing with Dr. White or members of his inner sanctum. 

Dr. Markham had to make “multiple” requests with Dr. White to get the man to discuss why she was not granted tenure. When White finally consented to meet with her he appears not to realize how vitally important this subject is to Dr. Markham; evidenced by the fact that he had his secretary tell Dr. Markham to meet him at the front of the auditorium after a chapel service. Really, Dr. White?  Several adjectives come to mind to describe Dr. White’s behavior in this matter, but let me just say it is a vivid display of unprofessionalism, haughtiness, and lack of love.  One would never expect this type of behavior from the president of a university and frankly makes me wonder how he was ever selected for the position.

We see similar behavior exhibited by both Mindy May and Jon Wood in their dealings with a former Cedarville student, Kiara, and her parents. You can read/listen to Kiara’s story here on Julie Roys’ podcast.  This from Roys’ podcast:

“Well, we live 1200 miles from the school, and we had driven our daughter out. And we did meet with Title IX first and had a very professional meeting and we had also been in contact with Mindy May. And we were told to go to the field house. So, I’m thinking, Okay, we’ll meet her and we’ll go talk. And we get to the field house where students are registering for classes, and we find her. And she starts talking to us. And my husband was like, you know, this is kind of strange. And we stepped over to the side of the table she was working at and my daughter was visibly upset. And so, my husband said, “Is there someplace private we can talk?” She literally opened the curtain and we stepped behind the curtain in the field house.

… you had a meeting with the school—Jon Wood, who is an administrator there at Cedarville, and Mindy May. Tell me how that meeting went.

GAIL: Not very well. As we tried. I have a very strong daughter, very independent daughter. And we allowed her to speak on her behalf. And I don’t, didn’t feel that was received very well. I am also pretty outspoken; my husband is pretty quiet. So in hindsight and reading what’s going on now, I’m pretty sure they didn’t like the fact that two women were sitting in their office speaking as my daughter was telling them how she felt, and, you know, our disappointment in what had taken place with the girl that was given the RA position, the whole Snapchat story, which they pretty much, you know, said that was nothing. And I kid you not, at one point, Jon Wood rolled his eyes at my daughter. And she and I looked at each other and I said, “This is done.” And we walked out.”

This is disturbing behavior by individuals in top leadership positions at Cedarville University. I cannot explain the lack of maturity in these “learned Doctors.” All I know is I wouldn’t be shoveling out 32K per year for tuition at an institution run by people of this caliber.

Without further delay, here is Dr. Markham’s recap of her meeting with Dr. White.


Comments

Dr. Ruth Lowrie Markham Recaps Her Meeting With Cedarville University President, Dr. Thomas White — 37 Comments

  1. I had a similar gaslighting experience at a school where I worked 20 years ago. The principal just didn’t like me, and It was my district tenure year. I went through all the hoops, made all the meetings, made all the changes she suggested to my classroom delivery, and nothing helped. Even district HR was upset with her because they had heavily recruited me from another district, but being the lady of the manor, the principal had the final say. God, in His grace and mercy, gave me a much better job in a better place, but I was pretty traumatized by the experience for quite a while, avoiding supervisors and only speaking when spoken to. It’s just nuts-you know you’re great at your job, your students love you, and yet, you can’t get past whatever this brick wall is. I am so sorry that this happened to Dr. Lowerie, and I hope she has found a better place.
    I did have an “I told you so” that I only found out about later: my replacement was fired before Christmas of the following school year, and my students took top scores for the school in all academic subjects on state tests except one (where they still scored high). I knew that I did my job.

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  2. Cedarville is not a University, in the true sense of the word. It is a fiefdom for President White, and the Board of Trustees….
    Just remember, they think Dr Markham is “left leaning”, yet no specifics on her “infractions”,
    Yet they appoint a male, admitted, sexual deviant, and then lie stating he does not teach students when in fact he does!
    Yup, they really value integrity, you bet..

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  3. Dr. Markham’s experience reminds me of my last day at SEBTS. I was called to a meeting with my department chair, who told me they were dissolving my MA degree program and if I wanted to graduate, I had to switch to an MDiv. Oh, and if I switched, I’d have to retake several classes like theology because they were being “retooled” (which I now know to mean “New Calvinized”). In all, I’d have to go at least 3 more years instead of one class. I tried to appeal to do a independent study for my last class. Nobody would talk to me about it and emails were ignored.

    I found out years later that two other women had similar experiences, but some former male students I spoke with had no idea what I was talking about and graduated with no problem.

    Huh…

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  4. Jeffrey Chalmers: I have to listen to how “bad” my “secular schools” are from fundyevangelicals…

    I’ve counseled several people not to send their kids to Christian colleges. They never seem to believe me that they are more poorly run and more about money than a public university.

    Some people are believing me now about Liberty because of the press they’ve gotten.

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  5. Thanks once again, Ruth, for making your story public. What many here surmise–but may not know with the certainty Ruth and I do–is that Ruth’s story represents MANY similar stories of faculty forced out by White and Reno (and later Mach). They were given no reason–or reasons based upon trumped-up (read: untrue)–charges. Many were forced to sign NDAs to get severance pay, so they don’t have the freedom to talk like Ruth does. Ruth’s story, therefore, is also theirs. So please, readers, do know that Ruth’s story is not an isolated case. Instead, it’s par for the White-Reno course. (In case any readers don’t know, I am a CU alumna and taught there from 1999-2017; I left after Reno forced the censorship policy on faculty and White made CU the first university in Ohio to allow concealed carry on campus.)

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  6. Thank you Dr Markham for sharing your story. I’m sure it wasn’t easy and certainly wasn’t without risk. Because of your bravery, there is now a searchable narrative detailing how women faculty members are treated at Cedarville Uni. Even women who explain that they are studying specific portions of the Bible and are seeking correction. Through that one illustration you have revealed their true character and how the decision was made long before your meetings took place.

    While this chapter has no doubt been painful for you, your courage and candidness will serve to guide other students and prospective professor candidates. Ohio is a one-party consent state for audio recordings. Students & staff who are compelled to continue dealing with the old guard should make a habit of activating a Voice Memo app on their phones during future meetings. They can pick up voices clearly from inside pockets & purses.

    Until Cedarville chooses to rid the ranks of leaders who lack integrity, documentation will be crucial going forward.

    One has to wonder if you would have been treated this way, had you been a “chiseled athletic” sex offender or a boisterous, shirtless young man who pumps iron with Dr White, instead of a conscientious, capable, female academic? Those demographics certainly seem to receive loads of time and attention from the university’s top leaders.

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  7. Amy Moore: Thank you Dr Markham for sharing your story. I’m sure it wasn’t easy and certainly wasn’t without risk. Because of your bravery, there is now a searchable narrative detailing how women faculty members are treated

    Yes, thank you, Dr. Markham. Your courage – a gift to others!

    For some, it seems, the only way to move up is to establish a designated underclass to climb on. When one finds oneself so designated, best to move on and out of that underclass arena. God bless you!

    “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

    “A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”

    “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

    “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

    – 4 Quotes from Maya Angelou

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  8. Here is a copy we received in a parent email today:

    CEDARVILLE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
    RESOLUTION OF BOARD FINDINGS OF THE INDEPENDENT REPORTS
    June 26, 2020
    WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of Cedarville University was made aware of additional information related to Dr. Anthony Moore’s past that led to the termination of his employment by President Thomas White on April 23, 2020; and

    WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees considered this matter at the spring meeting of the Board and ordered three courses of action on May 1, 2020:

    To hire an independent firm to conduct an internal investigation to ensure nothing inappropriate involving Dr. Moore took place on our campus or with any of our students elsewhere. This firm will report to the Board, and the Board will then report the findings to the Cedarville University community at-large.
    To retain an independent firm to conduct an audit of the entire process surrounding the hiring of Dr. Moore. This will include a thorough review of all relevant communication involving Dr. White and Dr. Moore, the Trustees, The Village Church, employment references, etc. The firm will report its findings to the Board.
    To place Dr. White on administrative leave during these investigations and appointed Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Loren Reno as acting president of Cedarville University; and

    WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees asked Husch Blackwell LLP to conduct an investigation using its independent professional judgment and to present its findings to the Board; andÂ

    WHEREAS, Husch Blackwell LLP found no evidence that Dr. Moore engaged in any conduct of a sexual nature on campus or with any University student or employee elsewhere; and

    WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees asked Husch Blackwell LLP to conduct an audit of the process surrounding the hiring of Dr. Moore using its independent professional judgment and to present its findings to the Board independent of any outside influence; and

    WHEREAS, Husch Blackwell LLP found that:

    There is no reason to question President White’s benevolent motivation with respect to the overall enterprise of hiring Dr. Moore.
    It is reasonable to infer from the evidence available that President White took steps that he knew, or should have known, clouded the specific nature of Dr. Moore’s misconduct.
    It is reasonable to infer that President White subsequently failed to notify the Board of the specific nature of Dr. Moore’s misconduct; and

    WHEREAS, President White has apologized for these mistakes, acknowledged his errors in judgment and oversight, and has expressed remorse for hiring Dr. Moore; and

    WHEREAS, President White took action when he learned the full extent of Dr. Moore’s past; and

    WHEREAS, President White has seven years of excellent service, and during his administrative leave he has continued to express remorse for his mistakes and has voluntarily cooperated with the internal investigation; now, therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of Cedarville University reinstates President White from administrative leave; and be it

    RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of Cedarville University is requiring Dr. White

    To complete courses on victim prevention and victim advocacy
    To lead Cedarville University to emphasize victim prevention, awareness, advocacy, and other related areas; and be it

    RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of Cedarville University commits to moving forward with humility, grace, mercy, integrity, civility, and respect and prays that God will be honored by these actions.

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  9. wow, SBC PR guy Jonathan Howe puts out story almost immediately.

    Baptist Press: “Cedarville University reinstates Thomas White; Akin, Vroegop resign from trustee board”

    [Jerome: Akin & Vroegop are the two trustees who are TGC Council Members]

    http://www.bpnews.net/55014/cedarville-university-reinstates-thomas-white-akin-vroegop-resign-from-trustee-board

    …..

    “The reinstatement comes as the result of independent investigations into both the hiring of Anthony Moore and Moore’s conduct while employed at the independent Baptist school.”

    …..

    “As a result of the reinstatement, at least two trustee members have announced their resignation from the board: Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Mark Vroegop, lead pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis.”

    “Akin noted in a statement released on Twitter that ‘the events surrounding the hiring of Moore and the five year plan of his restoration was seriously flawed from the beginning and poorly implemented once he arrive at Cedarville.’ Akin called the independent investigation report ‘extremely troubling’ and the reinstatement of White a decision he ‘could not support’.”

    “Vroegop issued a similar statement on his website, saying he ‘could not support’ the direction of the board, and that he did not ‘believe these steps are sufficient in light of what the report revealed’.”

    “Other Cedarville trustees with Southern Baptist ties who remain on the board include Corey Abney, senior pastor at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla.; Jason Duesing, provost at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Hayes Wicker, interim pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Mooresville, N.C.”

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  10. A CONCERNED PARENT: To lead Cedarville University to emphasize victim prevention, awareness, advocacy, and other related areas; and be it

    One is tempted to read this, sotto voce , to have the subtext “for some definition of ‘victim’, not to include the kinds of victimization that are required to enforce the norms the Trustees and Dr White wish to enforce”

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  11. Voyeurism is a serious paraphilia that is not curable. Not even with physical or chemical castration. Two-thirds of all voyeurs escalate to forcible rape. Virtually every violent rapist starts out as a voyeur. Anthony Moore is a serial sex offender voyeur. AM’s bro-dude buddy Thomas White knew all about this when he hired him.
    .
    Thomas White recklessly allowed Anthony Moore access to locker rooms and turned a blind eye when AM was trying to convince young students at CU to go into the woods with him overnight for “hunting/camping trips.” White never stuck to the plan he outlined for AM. He allowed AM to almost immediately flout the so-called “restoration plan” and White unbelievably and unspeakably demanded that AM live in on-campus housing among the student dormitories. White served up his innocent student charges on a silver plate to a known sexual predator.
    .
    Yet this so-called “independent investigation” by this massive 700+ attorney law firm, Husch Blackwell, obligated to rep the uni and not victims, fails to address this. At all! How crap is this law firm, that they overlooked these acts of gross negligence?
    .
    Any university president who deliberately puts a known, predatory, serial sex offender on staff as a faculty member and coach is not fit to hold that office. Period. Not in any academic setting including White’s karate schools. Why does this even need to be pointed out? Every single person who supports this horrific abuse of power, directly or indirectly (by future enrollment), is passively and/or actively supporting a sex crime tolerant culture on school campuses.

    WHERAS Cedarville University is now embracing a culture of sexual abuse and sexual abuse coverups.

    RESOLVED that the Board of Trustees of Cedarville University using a bunch of hyper-grace, toxically irresponsible mercy-gracey verbiage, may as well flatly restore the chiseled athlete/sex offender Anthony Moore while they are at it.

    RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of Cedarville University might as well
    establish some trendy Hollywoodesque Harvey Weinstein & Jeffrey Epstein dormitories and advertise that sexual predators are overseeing them. Take your shirts off boys. It’s after-hours, partay time with Dr White.

    RESOLVED, that Cedarville University is embracing a rape culture.

    RESOLVED, the bell tolls for you Cedarville University. RIP.

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  12. Dr. Markham, thank you for sharing your story. I am impressed that you were given constructive direction in your tenure quest and improved your classroom performance. That’s not always the case. I am disheartened that Dr. White could not see past himself to give you the professionalism you deserved, that we all deserve from those we serve under in our work. In all the reading of the events surrounding CU, I read that another blogger felt that the independent investigation would just reinstate Dr. White. And, you called it correctly. He will get to live in that huge house he’s building on the edge of the campus.

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  13. Paula,

    “I am disheartened that Dr. White could not see past himself to give you the professionalism you deserved, that we all deserve from those we serve under in our work.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    deserved, indeed.

    as far as being at the top of an org chart, i have to think that very few people on this earth earn the right to have people ‘serve under’ them — certainly not Thomas White. I’d say tolerate, nae, endure, is more the operative word.

    we’re lucky if it turns out we like the people we report to (of necessity).

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  14. Amy Moore: Yet this so-called “independent investigation” by this massive 700+ attorney law firm, Husch Blackwell, obligated to rep the uni and not victims, fails to address this. At all! How crap is this law firm, that they overlooked these acts of gross negligence?

    Has the investigative report been made public? That would be something. Until it is, we don’t know what transgressions and policy violations the investigators uncovered that the CU Trustees are overlooking in their decision re: TW’s employments. I get the impression from the statements of the two dissenting and now resigned Trustees that there is disturbing information in the report.

    I suspect that the Trustees are not at liberty to disclose the contents of the report, a shame.

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  15. Samuel Conner: I get the impression from the statements of the two dissenting and now resigned Trustees that there is disturbing information in the report.

    No kidding. It really sounds like the investigation recommended White be fired, and the board was like, “Nah, we’ll just hide what the report says and reinstate him!”

    I don’t know the other board member that resigned, but Akin went against some of his own in resigning…

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  16. Max: Yes, the other three Southern Baptists on the Board of Trustees evidently sided with White (dudebros?). There’s more to this story.

    Someone in the other thread pointed out that it may be because Moore spied on men and not women and that may also be why White was removed from CBMW. That explanation makes more sense than Akin going against his dudebros for justice’s sake.

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  17. I am so sorry this happened to you.

    I would like to help White find another position since he seems to like to help others find new positions.

    As I have said before, Loren is not the man I knew when we were Cedarville College classmates. I also know two of his brothers. I really wish I knew what happened to him to cause his bizarre behavior. Surely the military didn’t create this strange person. What is in it for him? He is old, should retire and just go away and stop trying to control everyone.

    I do know a faculty member who should leave or be fired. He is a “player”, and I can see him being a fake “yes” man to keep his job. He deceived people I know. I am thankful his parents are not alive to see what their child had morphed into and how he conned those around him.

    Cedarville needs to repent and start over.

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