Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

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Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

Postby Cathy » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:46 am

I was surprised to see this in my daily news feed this week. And I guess equally surprised not to see a post on this forum. It seemed to me that Ergun Caner was rather clearly found to be lying in both his talks and in his books. Time has muddied the water?

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=41597

http://www.abpnews.com/ministry/people/ ... qLAFpHvikJ
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Re: Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

Postby Haruo » Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:59 am

Cathy wrote:I was surprised to see this in my daily news feed this week. And I guess equally surprised not to see a post on this forum. It seemed to me that Ergun Caner was rather clearly found to be lying in both his talks and in his books. Time has muddied the water?

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=41597

http://www.abpnews.com/ministry/people/ ... qLAFpHvikJ


This one tugged at my tear ducts with humor:
An unnamed Brewton-Parker trustee quoted in a press release summarized the unanimous vote: “We didn’t consider Dr. Caner in spite of the attacks. We elected him because of them. He has endured relentless and pagan attacks like a warrior. We need a warrior as our next president.”
Who's he calling pagan? Liberty U?

Seriously, Dr. Caner has a gift of hyperbole and a gift of gab, but I'm sure he'll make a nice warrior for the folks at Brewton-Parker.
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Re: Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

Postby William Thornton » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:28 am

I have reservations but the deed is done. We have three Georgia Baptist schools, two of which are headed by Caners. Truett-McConnell has younger brother Emir as president. B-P is struggling and I surmise that trustees believe that star power can attract scads of tuition paying new students.

The unnamed trustee statement was particularly inelegant.
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Re: Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

Postby Cathy » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:01 am

That trustee comment did border on the absurd. They may be grasping at straws but I don't think that this will draw more students. To have someone with so little credibility in an academic post doesn't make good sense.

Raised a muslim and born in the middle east. No and No. Speaks Arabic...No that was gibberish.
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Re: Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

Postby Lamar Wadsworth » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:46 am

Sounds like the behavior of a dying institution. Caner will likely be the school's last president. The trustees would have had a hard time finding a president who has less credibility or integrity. Caner's demonstrably false claims about his background should have precluded him from consideration.
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Re: Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

Postby William Thornton » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:04 am

Lamar Wadsworth wrote:Sounds like the behavior of a dying institution. Caner will likely be the school's last president. The trustees would have had a hard time finding a president who has less credibility or integrity. Caner's demonstrably false claims about his background should have precluded him from consideration.


You guys may be right but are demonstrably out of touch with much of what is happening here. EC has a considerable and vocal body of supporters who tend to minimize his past. Not a few of these supporters have a decided interest in putting non-Calvinists in positions of influence. The younger EC heads anti-Calvinist HQ at another GBC college. I don't know how large the pool is for conservative potential students.

My top bit of advice for EC would be to avoid any inflammatory anti-Islam comments and slurs. These have the potential to put lives in danger. Since he has maintained a very low profile recently, perhaps he will continue.

The anonymous trustee is either to be forgiven for irrational exuberance or judged an idiot. I'll be kind and go with the former.
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Re: Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:47 pm

As some of you know, I grew up on the campus of Brewton-Parker College. My dad was chair of the Christianity department and my mom headed up the Counseling Center. We were there for 13 years. I lived in Ailey - 1.5 miles from the campus for 5 years and then we lived in Vidalia - 12 miles from campus - for 8 years. 13 years total until BPC began a series of shennanigans involving numerous professors and resulted in my dad (and several years later, David Moseman) landing in the Baylor Religion Department, where he's been since Fall 2003.

Those 5 years that I lived in Ailey I spent on the campus, swimming in the lone area pool in the summer, bat boy at the baseball games, shooting basketball during halftime of the men's and women's games, watching my dad play on the faculty team in the intramural league, eating supper at in the cafeteria every weeknight and for Sunday lunch (we'd have international students over for supper on some Saturdays - many Muslim students, friendships we still have today - and I remember one Palestinian student remarking to my mom, Mrs. Weaver you have the cleanest kitchen I've ever seen).

And then as a Junior-Senior in High School, I ended up back at BPC, taking 30+ hours of courses along with a dozen or so of my friends from Vidalia High. I worked at BPC one summer too.

All that said, BPC has changed a good bit in the last decade and I'm not referring to just the chapel speaker lineup (in the 90s, BPC had Tony Campolo, in 2000s BPC welcomed Paige Patterson). The school is falling apart. Enrollment is worse than it's ever been (and it hadn't been good in many many years). There are accreditation issues. Did I say the school is falling apart and struggling to pay the bills?

We returned to the campus in Mt. Vernon and browse around last summer - the first time in 10 years. The grass had not been cut in a month. I guess they couldn't afford maintenance in the summertime. I don't know.

The hiring of Ergun Caner is embarrassing for many conservatives, including BPC alums, who have no respect for Caner but don't speak out. But putting the controversy surrounding Caner aside, I don't see how he could turn BPC around. Doing so would take a massive amount of $$$ - is Bob White and the Georgia Baptist Convention going to step up and give BPC the stimulus it needs to attract students again?

I doubt it. Donors have never flocked to BPC even when Paige Patterson was a featured speaker. Leading GBC pastors and officials don't cheerlead for BPC. Never have. The pastor's kid of a large GBC church is more likely to go to Mercer than BPC. I don't blame them. Who wants to send their kid to a school that might not exist in 5-10 years?

Who knows - perhaps Caner will tap into the Independent Fundamentalist market that he was part of at Arlington College and prior to that Liberty. He'll have to find some big donors if BPC is to survive. I would think the accreditation issues are his first serious challenge though.
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Re: Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

Postby William Thornton » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:43 pm

The GBC has about $25m to spend in state, a sum that has declined somewhat steeply as of late. BPC and TMC, the Caner colleges, get about a million each and Shorter gets about $2m. I doubt any of these can carve out more Cooperative Program dollars. Clearly, the trustees are looking for star power.

BPC has an accreditation action due next summer.
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Re: Ergun Caner has a new job in Georgia

Postby Sandy » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:47 pm

BPC is a relatively small school, even compared to other colleges operated by Baptist state conventions. Wikipedia says enrollment is just a little over 1,100, and the course offerings look comparatively small. It has also been through some issues related to its finances, Pell grants specifically, which led to accreditation investigations and probation. It's hard for small schools to sustain enrollment and finances when things like that happen. There's a balance between the kind of students they attract, and the the tuition they can pay, modified by the grants, scholarships and other financial aid that is available, and the loans they have to secure. I would guess the enrollment trajectory of this school, with the issues surrounding it, has been headed downward. So I would agree with William in that the trustees are looking for the star power of a new president's ability to attract students and increase enrollment, probably to save the college from closing.

The "niche" of Christian education, from day care and preschool, through the grade levels to college, is its philosophical approach to training the mind. I don't know where Brewton Parker stood with regard to its commitment to a distinctively Christian educational philosophy, but the bottom line in attracting students is in distinguishing its curriculum and atmosphere from that of the secular, humanistic philosophy of the state university systems, and the moral atmosphere that pervades those campuses. Otherwise, what's the real difference between the schools, except that the state universities have the finances to offer more in the way of career preparation in their curriculum? A lot of small, denominationally based schools have closed over the past thirty years, including at least one school related to Georgia Baptists. This looks like a do or die move. Liberty University is attracting students based on a distinctively Christian educational philosophy, and a campus atmosphere that is Christian, and BPC is in its backyard when it comes to location.
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