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Oklahoma Christian drops proposed written policy on employee divorces

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — One day after telling faculty and staff that Oklahoma Christian University would take a stand on the sanctity and permanence of marriage by adopting a written marriage policy for employees, President Mike O’Neal withdrew the policy from consideration Jan. 11.
February 1, 2006
By David Hartman
The Edmond, Okla. Evening Sun (used by permission)

“I have listenedcarefully to faculty, staff and otherswho reviewed the policy, and I have determined that it is the best interest ofthe university to withdraw the policy,” O’Neal said.
“Unfortunately, manywho have read or heard about the proposed policy misunderstood our intent andare painting a picture of the university that is not accurate.”
The policy would haveput in writing the university’s right, at the president’s discretion, toterminate any employee involved in a divorce. In a meeting with faculty andstaff Jan 10, O’Neal said the policy was “probably the most complex, difficultand challenging policy area I’ve ever attempted to address.” He said theuniversity would “articulate our strong commitment as a body, as a school, tothe sanctity and permanence of marriage.
“We’re going to beproactive in that arena, and we want people to know that we’re not just goingto ignore the issue,” O’Neal said.
On Jan. 11, theschool issued the statement that the proposed policy was being withdrawn.
“This university hasalways and will always strongly affirm the sanctity and the permanence ofmarriage,” O’Neal said.

“I sincerely regretthat anyone may have been hurt by the draft language, and I seek your prayersfor the university that we will faithfully exemplify and glorify the Lord weserve.
“We may laterconsider some appropriate policy language which strongly and positively affirmsour commitment to Christian marriage. As a faith-based institution, theuniversity will also continue to seek to employ individuals who are positivementors and role models for our Christian mission,” O’Neal said.
Had the universityadopted the proposal, it wouldn’t have meant that all employees involved in adivorce would be terminated.
In his meeting withemployees, O’Neal said OC recognizes that the circumstances in every divorceare different, and all situations would be reviewed as unique.
In the employeemeeting, O’Neal said he was critical of those who don’t do a very good job ofloving and supporting people who have experienced the pain of divorce.

Filed under: Partners Staff Reports

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