The Ventriloquist

An online publication at and outside the boundary of evangelical Christianity.

Tuesday

22

January 2013

Removing Ruby

by Zach Schneider, on Cedarville, January 2013, Purge

Dr. Carl Ruby did not resign of his own accord. There is not a shadow of doubt in the mind of anyone close to the situation. The circumstantial evidence is damning in itself: Dr. Ruby allegedly resigned after twenty-five years of service, a few weeks into a semester, and left campus a week later. Sources closest to Ruby will all confirm that he has two children receiving tuition remission from his job at Cedarville and a daughter's wedding this summer. He has no job lined up and is just now beginning his search for a new one. To suggest that Dr. Ruby would intentionally put himself in such a dire financial situation is ludicrous. The university's public relations piece even fails to do a particularly good job at spinning the situation. Note, for example, the tense of the sentence: "He will be pursuing new career opportunities outside the University." In other words, he has not yet begun to pursue such opportunities. Dr. Ruby mentions in the piece that "this" has been "difficult," with no explanation of what "this" is. The statement doesn't even attempt to explain why Dr. Ruby "resigned," nor does it touch the dubious circumstances surrounding the move.

Figures high in the administration also recognize the truth - the injustice of the university's treatment of Dr. Ruby. In a recent public Facebook post, Dean of Student Life Programs Jon Purple stated that he is still "reeling at the news of Carl Ruby being removed as the VP of Student Life at CU [emphasis added]." Additionally, The Ventriloquist has confirmed through anonymous sources that the majority of the trustees were not made aware of Dr. Ruby's "resignation" until it was announced to the campus. In fact, many of them seem quite angry about the decision. Chris Williamson, CU trustee and senior pastor of Strong Tower Bible Church, said in a recent Facebook post that "He [Dr. Ruby] is one of the main reasons I serve at Cedarville University and why I sent my son Christopher Dante Williamson to school there. I will make my voice heard at the board meeting [on January 24-25]." While many sources are unwilling to go on the record, for fear of losing their jobs, this journalist encourages readers to inquire with any member of SGA or Student Life, from resident directors to the Deans. Among those in the know, the fact that Dr. Ruby was removed against his will is not even remotely in dispute.

Perhaps the most damning evidence that Dr. Ruby was forced out is his own silence. The man has served this university for twenty-five years, and he resigns suddenly without a word as to why? Why does a man with such an impeccable reputation as Dr. Ruby need a communication plan, or to be held to a nondisclosure agreement? Dr. Ruby was and is well aware of the allegations that he was forced to leave. If the information floating around campus about Dr. Ruby is false, he would have been more than happy to correct such a view of the university he so dearly loves. The university's explanation seems completely unsatisfactory. Additionally, why the lack of fanfare when Dr. Ruby left? The university did not even deign to make a chapel announcement until hundreds of students forced the matter by beginning a movement to wear red on Dr. Ruby's last day in order to express their love and support. Even then, the chapel announcement made clear the university's position that "negative expressions" (protests or questioning) would "dishonor Dr. Ruby." In what world does the critical thought and honest questioning of concerned students dishonor a man so instrumental in the promotion of honesty and justice on campus?

The question to ask, then, is not "what" but "why?" Why was Dr. Ruby, a man with impeccable character and consistent self-effacing love for his students, forced out of his position? What kind of university is Cedarville becoming if men like Dr. Ruby no longer fit the bill for employment? For starters, the university's blatant lack of transparency surrounding the circumstances of Dr. Ruby's departure is deplorable. Dr. John Gredy, provost and acting president, wrote a blog post on Cedarville's website in which he answered the question "Why is it important to speak and lead with truth and integrity?" by stating that people deserve to know the truth; truth telling clarifies and defines actions and information; and truth telling creates real authenticity and provides consistency between past actions and current and future actions. Why has Dr. Gredy's behavior towards one of the university's most Christlike servants so sharply differed from the principles that Dr. Gredy promotes in his post? Why the incongruence between words and actions in these matters? If Cedarville's faith is truly "not a label or a surface treatment," but its "lifeblood" that "permeates all aspects of the university, its programs and its people," (as Cedarville claims on its website), then why do key figures in the administration find it acceptable to deceive the student body while treating figures such as Dr. Ruby in a manner impossible to accurately describe in terms of Christian love?

Cedarville as we know it has become a dark place in these matters. It seems that certain individuals within the administration have grown to love either their own power or adherence to legalism more than they love their students and subordinates. Such a shift has undoubtedly caused great pain, to Dr. Ruby and his family, and to future Cedarville students who will never experience the love of Dr. Ruby's ministry. Stories abound from current and former students who would either have walked away for the faith or literally committed suicide if not for the loving influence and incredible patience of Dr. Carl Ruby. It is appalling that the administration would force such a man to leave. I invite you to join me and all other concerned students, alumni, faculty, and staff in crying out for transparency and honest answers from our acting president, Dr. John Gredy, and anyone else involved in this decision.

Dr. Carl Ruby declined comment for this article.

Zach Schneider
Zach Schneider - https://schneid.io

Editor of The Ventriloquist. Alum of Cedarville University and graduate of Southern Illinois University.