Thanks everyone for reading and commenting on my open letter to DBU. The response has been, frankly, much more overwhelming than I expected!
I just want to mention a few things:
1) I did change some language that I realized made it sound like I was calling DBU students “foolish.” That was not my intent. I was simply trying to say that many bright students are being driven away from the school. I apologize for any unnecessary offense that may have caused.
2) My objective is not to tear DBU down, but to lovingly exhort, and to try to invite a community of parents, students, and alumni into a conversation about how to make our beloved school better. I had a great experience at DBU, and I want that for others. I just fear that the current trajectory might be detracting from that. A couple of people pointed out that my verbiage tended to be inflammatory at a couple of points. Again, I don’t want to inflame for the sake of inflaming, and I have altered a few words in response. (On the other hand, to preserve the analogy, inflammation in the body is part of the healing process, so if anything like healing happens, then I’m glad.)
3) One person pointed out that student tuition does not go toward the building budget but toward the operating. And I appreciate that clarification. I still, however, have difficulty with how significantly tuition has gone up as the campus has grown—perhaps those are unrelated, but it’s hard to deny they don’t merit some tough questions. I obviously do not understand all the deliberations and decisions that happen at DBU, and I will be the first to say that I know many godly staff and administrators are there, prayerfully considering things. I simply was trying to give my impression of how things appear to me.
4) Comparing DBU’s tuition with other colleges’ tuition makes a certain point, and I understand that point, but it still does not, as I see, lead the way in the necessary paradigm shift for modern education. Other schools have this same problem, but what we need to ask is “Why?” and “How can we change this?” This is even more pertinent in the current economy where money is often still tight, and some students are opting to skip college and head to the workforce.
I have no ridiculous heroic self-impression. And neither do I want to be a persona non grata at the school I love. I simply wanted to help start (or continue) a meaningful conversation.
I welcome any agreements or disagreements, as we all rigorously, respectfully, and honestly question the place where we find ourselves and the positions we and our brothers and sisters hold to.