The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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7 PM Centray Daylight Time
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Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How Money Helped Ruin Higher Education

 "We are here to learn how a couple can
start a one-building college and give it to their children
as their own tax-funded non-profit piggybank.
If that is capitalism, we're all for it."

An on-going scandal involves Ecclesia College, Springdale, Arkansas, obtaining tax money to buy a large parcel of land. Here are links to the latest stories and commentary.

The advent of the federal student loan made it possible for private colleges to make a bundle from their students and not bother the denominations for support. Imagine the cars that college students would buy if they could borrow the price and have a lifetime to pay it back. Their parking lots would be full of Lamborginis and BMWs.

Every educational institution treats students as snowflakes that might melt and flow elsewhere. Every single one is a bag of money waiting to be drained for faculty salaries, buildings, and administration income. Foreign students are even more valuable, with their affluent parents who pay cash. No English? No problem!

Denominations and religious groups have an unwritten rule that their celebrities can do no wrong. Often they are children of celebrities within their sect, which is even worse. This attitude is very bad for those who seem to enjoy that status. They can do no wrong, even outsiders look at their behavior and think, "How could you do this?"

 We built this college on DNA! -
and your taxes.


When Oren Paris II wanted to pass his little college onto his son, Oren III wanted a salary of $100,000 a year. His father backed him and he obtained that amount, based on no experience and no education beyond a college degree. Before that, Oren III was getting $60,000 a year for being the chancellor, whatever that means at Ecclesia College. Now his mother is chancellor and gets that $60,000 a year, serving on the board and supporting her son's tax money manipulations.

Oren III's only qualification to be president of Ecclesia College was being the only son of Oren II and Inez. If a degree from EC is so valuable, why did Oren III (with an EC degree) also obtain a bachelor's from the University of Arkansas, a school he routinely deplores?

Now Oren III has skipped seminary to get a DMin from an online school, where everyone I know has gone to seminary three years before applying for an easy DMin (equivalent to the old STM degree).

So now the board calls him "Dr. Paris." He should take that doctorate and try to get a job teaching at a real college - not that he teaches at EC.

Three former faculty members have discussed their dismay at Oren's lack of leadership, absence from the campus, and general incompetence. Oren, his wife, his sisters, his brother-in-law, and his mother use up an inordinate amount of EC's income for themselves. They pay almost nothing for faculty salaries. The campus is a dump, the facilities a disgrace by anyone's standards. Two former employees told me they could not encourage anyone to attend the college, after they saw how it was was mismanaged by the Paris family.

But, as long as they keep the ruse going, Ecclesia College can obtain state and federal money for their operation.

Some EC students are excellent scholars and live up to the image portrayed in campus materials. Certain faculty and staff are exemplary and work for sacrificial wages. To show Oren III's stinginess, one person was expected to work all summer for nothing, during the school year for next to nothing. But Oren and his mother needed big homes and salaries.
A real estate agent told me Oren was also a landlord, the kind to say away from.

More Than One House of Cards Will Collapse
I could repeat some facts about Lutheran institutions of higher education, how they are controlled by a few and used to promote an agenda. Such schools are often a place to put incompetents and drunks, favored alumni who cannot be expected to live up to normal standards. A failed pastor becomes a fake Dr. from Fuller and teaches future ministers and teachers. How pathetic - and expensive.

 Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois


They remind me of the old days when a full professor at Yale University gave up his prestigious title to become president of a nearly bankrupt Lutheran college. Many students did not even qualify for a college education, so they established a prep school to build upon their rural educations. When I studied there at Augustana College, 50 years ago, the faculty were expected to have PhDs or to be completing them. The school never belonged to a family.

The future Mrs. Ichabod lived in Andreen dorm. I wonder how many residents (one a Nazi spy, during WWII) realized their highly rated college was built up by Andreen's willingness to give up Yale for a pokey little college job in Rock Island.

My mother, wife, sister-in-law, and I
all graduated from Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.
This is my mother's graduation photo from 1943.