University of the Cumberlands EdD: Yeah, I enrolled

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by SteveFoerster, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    No, it means a lot more than that, which has been proven by their previous actions and statements. Christian values means pro-life, no homosexuality, no extramarital or premarital sex, and a bunch of other sins that are mostly listed in the Old Testament. You're a married, straight man, so you probably won't have any problems unless someone finds you on a "married but looking" or escort website or you have naked pictures get out somewhere. If you are caught doing any of these things, it would poorly reflect upon your Christian peers and the University. Hopefully, you won't have to be careful about affiliating yourself with certain political parties or political causes. This was a little bit of an issue once at Liberty University.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You seem to know a lot more about what they think than I do, but then I'm merely going on what they've told me, which is zero other than that excerpt above from the admissions equivalent to an EULA. It's true that my lifestyle is conventional enough for them to have no interest in it, but what matters to me is whether I think the specific words to which I agreed are a problem, and they're not.

    And if I'd enrolled there, perhaps that would concern me. But I didn't, so it doesn't. If that somehow turns out to be a mistake, you can be the first to tell me you told me so.
  3. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    The wording is broad. It is up to them to determine what Christian values are and what would reflect poorly on the University. You don't have to guess at the wording. All you have to do is read their previous statements to the media.
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    This is from your student handbook starting on p. 126.
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Or you could simply read the current UotC "Student Handbook", which is readily available online. Their "Social Media Guidelines" on pp. 124-125 might be of interest; they include the following:

    While degreeinfo may not be facebook or myspace, it is obviously public and has a significant readership. I note that some degreeinfo participants openly advertise both their real names and their UotC affiliation in their posts. That's fine by me, but I would suggest that those individuals avoid posting any off-topic opinions that might not be completely consistent with those of the UotC administration. Issues like same-sex marriage, legalization of marijuana, or abortion might seem like perfectly valid topics for discussion on an internet forum -- but they may not be considered open for debate by the UotC administration.

    Alternatively, consider simply taking the UotC reference out of your signature if you want to post a potentially unacceptable opinion. Obviously you are entitled to your opinions -- but you may not (in their view) be entitled to express them in association with the Cumberlands name.

    Apparently a lot of UotC students took pains to "clean up" their online personas after the incident with the gay student and myspace. This seems like a reasonable precaution.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2014
  6. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I think that policy is reasonable. One could always put a disclaimer that one's views are one's own and do not represent the views of University of the Cumberlands. I don't know if they would be aggressive enough to go after someone expressing his/her own views without any mention of University of the Cumberlands just because that person has previously mentioned attending UotC or has it in his/her signature. At least, I hope that wouldn't be the case.

    But, they are clear that you are not to promote anything that goes against Christian principles regardless of you having any references to UotC. If one wants to support same-sex marriage on social media or some other public forum, that's a no-no. Also, don't talk about going to Las Vegas, taking part in a poker match, or buying lottery tickets. They don't give a full list of Christian principles, but it is clear that they are talking about the sins that are mentioned in the Bible.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2014
  7. novadar

    novadar Member

    Dang, as if Doctoral studies aren't hard enough.
  8. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Elsewhere it seems that that Student Handbook is directed to on-campus undergraduate students.
  9. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I missed this from the student handbook.

    Of course, most of the rules are going to be for on-campus conduct. There are only so many rules one can make for distance students. But, the handbook does directly address graduate students.
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The handbook also includes "graduate online" academic calendars on pp. 4-5. Presumably the graduate online calendars are directed at the graduate online students.

    I'm sure the UotC administration is principally concerned about the behavior of its residential students, who are generally younger, less mature, and more visible than the online students. But it's clear that the administration is also concerned about the way that UotC students present themselves on the internet -- and the online students (by definition) are on the internet.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2014
  11. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    One of the great things about the USA is options.
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Indeed, and those who are this concerned about this can keep looking, I suppose. But given that there are hundreds of students in their EdD program and that it's been around for several years, if they had a hair trigger on this sort of thing I'd think that we'd have heard about someone having had a problem since that one residential undergraduate student in 2006.
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    A devout Baptist probably wouldn't have much trouble following those rules, and it seems like that is what they mostly attract.

    Yes, in the USA, people have the option to choose their schools. They also have the option to discuss what they want.
  14. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    There is an alternative possibility -- maybe everyone in the UotC community has learned not to rock the boat. The faculty probably figured it out in 2005, after the incident with the professor's website (which resulted in formal censure of UotC by the American Association of University Professors). The students probably figured it out in 2006, after the incident with the gay undergraduate.

    The same president continues to run the show today (as he has since 1980). He is fully prepared to terminate students, faculty, and department chairs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2014
  15. novadar

    novadar Member

    Wow, that's some tenure, he sounds like the Eddie Robinson of Collegiate Presidents.
  16. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    How about this 2009 episode:

    Turns out that the Broadway Baptist Church accepts "homosexual members who are unrepentant", so apparently their youth group was an unacceptable source of volunteer labor. However, the youth group did manage to find another Christian group to work with:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2014
  17. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Just to be clear, I'm not saying: "Don't go to University of the Cumberlands".
    I'm sure the school is a good fit for certain people.

    What I am saying is: "If you go to University of the Cumberlands online, be careful about what you post online".
    This recommendation is based on the facts that:

    1. UotC has a history of disciplining students and faculty over material posted online, outside of school servers, and
    2. UotC's disciplinary actions in these cases have been severe enough to attract the notice of the courts, the state legislature, and the AAUP.

    Given these points, maybe a little online caution is advisable.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2014
  18. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    Good points. For me, I don't care. The price and quality make the program worth it.

  19. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    Best of luck Steve, I hope you enjoy your program!
  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Finished the first course, Learning in Adulthood. It was a decent amount of work, but not off the chain. Next up is Politics of Educational Decision Making, which ought to be interesting. The syllabus suggests this one has more writing than the one I just did, so I'd better stay focused!

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