Larycia Hawkins, the Christian professor suspended by Wheaton College for wearing hijab out of solidarity with the Muslim women who face discrimination in the Christmas season, will not be returning to work.
In December 2015, Hawkins was put on leave after making the following statement on her Facebook page along with a photo of herself in hijab: “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated … we worship the same God.”
Hawkins told the press that the university was pressuring her to resign.
College President Philip Ryken sent out an email to faculty this Saturday that he would cease his proceedings to fire Hawkins, then, hours later, came another e-mail that the professor had chosen to resign from her tenured position.
On Saturday, some faculty expressed anger and confusion. Given the proximity of both announcements, some questioned whether Jones’ apology was merely a condition of a legal settlement. They also didn’t like the political appearance of the college trying to appease both the conservative and progressive sides of its constituencies.
Ryken said because Hawkins’ suspension raised concerns about academic freedom, due process, the leaking of confidential information, possible violations of faculty governance, and gender and racial discrimination, he has asked the board of trustees to conduct a review. He said he hopes that review will improve the way Wheaton College addresses faculty personnel issues in the future, especially when they relate to the statement of faith.