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Feb 08, 2016 10:34 AM EST

Dr Larycia Hawkins Agrees With Wheaton College to No Longer Teach There


Wheaton College and Dr. Larycia Hawkins have reached an agreement that will put an end to the two sides' opposition over the latter's theological views.

Wheaton first placed Hawkins on administrative leave in Dec. when she posted photos of herself in a hijab to her Facebook account in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting. She also wrote in a post that Muslims and Christians worshipped the same God, both of which resulted in her suspension from the private Evangelical school in Wheaton, Ill.

Almost a month after her suspension, Wheaton announced it was seeking to terminate Hawkins, who is a tenured professor there. But on Saturday, President Philip Ryken issued the statement announcing an agreement for Hawkins to no longer teach at Wheaton.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Provost Stanton Jones issued an email to the school's professors just hours earlier, stating he left the decision on Hawkins' future with Wheaton to Ryken. In his email, Jones apologized for pursuing termination against Hawkins, an action the school's Faculty Council unanimously opposed.

"I asked Dr. Hawkins for her forgiveness for the ways I contributed to the fracture of our relationship, and to the fracture of Dr. Hawkins' relationship with the college," Jones wrote. "While I acted to exercise my position of oversight of the faculty within the bounds of Wheaton College employment policies and procedures, I apologized for my lack of wisdom and collegiality as I initially approached Dr. Hawkins, and for imposing an administrative leave more precipitously than was necessary."

And when Ryken released the joint statement, which contained a quote from Hawkins, the professors became skeptical that Jones' apology was part of the agreement, The Tribune reported.

"I appreciate and have great respect for the Christian liberal arts and the ways that Wheaton College exudes that in its mission, programs, and in the caliber of its employees and students," Hawkins said in the statement.

Gary Burge, a professor of New Testament, iterated the professors of Wheaton's concerns with the way the school handled Hawkins' case.

"This decision by the provost is a tribute to his integrity and courage," he told The Tribune. "But many of us are wondering why the president's reconciliation with Dr. Hawkins did not include her remaining on our faculty."

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