The Center for Origins Research, an organization that taught and researched about creationism hosted at Bryan, lost its funding and three professors will lose their jobs effective June 30.
CORE was cut because of two reasons, according to Academic Vice President Dr. Bradford Sample. First, with an annual average of only 30 students involved, it does not impact the vast majority. Secondly, there simply are not enough funds.
CORE attempted to reconcile the sharp debate between creationism and evolution in the church. According to the group’s website, CORE believed that they could resolve the debate through “careful, humble inquiry.”
They did this by conducting research, speaking, writing and teaching Bryan students about creationism.
Bryan College graduate Matthew Croxton expressed regret at seeing them go.
“To have a young earth perspective and be involved in hard research only comes from a small, specialized group. CORE helped graduates start projects and gain experience, mentoring and advising them even post-graduation,” said Croxton.
If CORE were to receive private funding somehow, they could remain open and operating on campus.
As a contingency plan, Wood and Sanders are in the process of compiling an extensive portfolio of CORE. They intend to send copies of it to college presidents who have “expressed curiosity,” as Wood put it. Ideally, another institution would entirely adopt CORE.
According to Wood’s blog, five other colleges have “expressed curiosity” in hosting CORE, but many of the colleges are also facing difficult financial times.
“We are losing three wonderful scholars. Bryan’s image is higher than it would have been because of the work they are publishing. That is Bryan’s loss and it is very painful to me,” Sample said.
Because of the loss, Bryan will have to find faculty to fill the gap and teach Biochemistry and History of Life, among other courses.
“The school is saving a big chunk of money,” Wood said. “This is no time for sentimental decisions. I don’t think President Livesay is making a bad decision. I am just concerned with CORE and our work; he has to worry about hundreds.”
The loss of CORE also signals the loss of Bryan’s annual nature art show, tours through the Henning Museum and a majority of research.
“They have done everything we’ve asked and met every expectation. They were a model for the other centers because they did all of their research; they engaged the public; they did everything with excellence and I was very impressed,” Sample said.
Sample continued to stress that the decision to cut CORE was purely financial. There was no friction between the administration and CORE.
“I thought this was the end, but the last chapter hasn’t been written. It could be better than what we had,” Wood said.