The Chronicle of Higher Education features an interesting piece, “Some Evangelicals Find the Campus Climate Chilly — but Is That About Faith, or Politics?”, by Thomas Bartlett. It highlights the trials and tribulations of Mike S. Adams, associate professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, who has been denied promotion to full professor. Adams, who has been at the university for 13 years and has published and received three teaching awards, sees an anti-Christian conspiracy at work. He’s become a “lightning rod” for his conservative evangelical opinions, some of them published. Adams is seeking legal action against the school.
From conversations I’ve had with grad students and professors in the field of history, I’ve wondered if such claims have as much to do with aggressive conservative politics as with benign religious beliefs. George Marsden, C. John Sommerville, and Randall Balmer make that casein the article. But, perhaps, as Marsden suggests “Conservative religious views can be a strike against you if you’re early in your career."