Resigned SLU Theology Chair Jay Hammond On Lawrence Biondi: "He Creates a Culture of Fear"

Hammond says he would like to first see the university respond to the no-confidence votes and then begin to transparently work out a transition plan to restore SLU through Biondi's retirement.

"It is actually quite shocking to me that Father Biondi has not agreed to retire," he says. "If someone receives the overwhelming votes of no confidence...this is not in touch with reality."

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Lawrence Biondi
He says that Biondi and other top leaders are trying to convince themselves that this is a small group of discontent faculty -- a fact which he says he has heard directly from individuals who attended the most recent board of trustees meeting this month.

For Hammond, it was a personally tough decision, he adds. In his third year as chair, he has a long history with SLU. He got his B.A. in psychology, classical humanities and theology in 1993, then graduated again a year later with a masters in historical theology. Four years after that, he received his Ph.D in historical theology. He was hired back at SLU in 2003.

"It was excruciatingly difficult," Hammond says. "I've graduated from SLU three times. I love the university.... I realize that my resignation has put the department in a difficult situation."

He adds, "I have taken a substantial pay cut. And that really hurts my family."

University spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment last week.

Here's the official letter of resignation with Hammond's full explanation.

Hammond's Explanation of Resignation

Here's the tenured faculty response.

Response of Department of Theological Studies Tenured Faculty

And here's last year's no-confidence report.

Slu Report on Biondi

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