Dr. John Lewis resigned as chairman of the school’s board of trustees on Thursday, April 6, 2023 – effective immediately. His resignation was announced by Dr. Steve Pettit – who revealed his own plans to resign last Thursday.
“I wish Dr. Lewis God’s best,” Pettit said in his statement, citing Lewis’ thirty-two years on the BJU board and his seven years as its chairman.
“His desire was to honor the mission and vision of BJU and he worked tirelessly to that end,” Pettit wrote.
Not all was well between the two men behind the scenes, though … in fact just seven days ago it was Lewis wishing Pettit “God’s best in his future endeavors” on the occasion of his announced resignation.
Clearly those winds have shifted …
According to a letter obtained by this news outlet, Pettit’s resignation announcement last week was motivated by “dysfunction” on the board – and specifically by Lewis’ alleged promotion of “disunity.”
“The current direction is unsustainable,” Pettit wrote in his letter. “I am walking down a dark road with no light ahead. The future of BJU requires the chairman and the president to work together. It is not happening now, and I can’t see it happening in the future.”
According to Pettit, Lewis was holding clandestine board meetings, improperly storing “sensitive board documentation” and restricting access to information from certain administrators and board members.
Pettit also accused Lewis of displaying “an uncaring or cavalier disregard for the cause of troubling financial numbers triggered by the ongoing dysfunction and uncertainty” – specifically pointing to “shortfalls in the university’s current and projected financials” as well as “ongoing deficits in donations and enrollment that are directly linked to a loss of confidence in the university’s direction under the current board leadership.”
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The biggest problem, though, centered around a controversial PowerPoint presentation recently shown to the board regarding the attire of female students and student-athletes. According to Pettit, the presentation was made after a trustee had publicly complained that female students’ clothing – and female students athletes’ uniforms – accentuated their “boobs and butts.”
Documentation for these claims was reportedly provided by the trustee via “creeper-style” photographs taken of females on campus without their consent.
“The trustee may have taken un-consented photographs of female students,” Pettit wrote.
Pettit had been urging the board to “report the matter to the university’s Title IX coordinator as required by law.”
According to him, Lewis was attempting to block an internal investigation into the matter and keep the school from reporting on the nonconsensual photographs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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BANNER VIA: Bob Jones University/ Hal Cook