CORE, Bryan Institute hit by college cuts

June 4, 2014

Painful budget cuts announced this week will result in closing the Center for Origins Research and loss of the director of the Bryan Institute for Critical Thought and Practice, college officials have explained.

President Stephen Livesay told faculty and staff members Monday, January 14, that a drop in the number of students who had planned to return for the 2012-13 school year, as well as the number of new students who had paid their admissions deposits but did not enroll led to a budget shortfall that required significant steps to maintain the strength of the college.

One of the most visible cuts was to the Center for Origins Research (CORE). “This was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make,” Dr. Livesay said. “CORE is one of the premier organizations advancing a solid scientific, biblically based understanding of origins in the world today. It was the vision of Dr. (Kenneth G.) Hanna (Bryan’s fifth president) to make Bryan College a leader in this field, and CORE certainly has done that.

“But as we are all aware, these are difficult economic times in our nation, and Bryan College is not immune to these ills. As we made our decisions, we were guided by three principles: First, we would not touch anything essential to the mission of the college. Second, we want to ensure the least impact on students. And third, we want to demonstrate fiscal responsibility. We told the faculty and staff on Monday that we are reducing funding to CORE. If private funding becomes available, we will continue to provide facilities and logistical support as appropriate.

“We strongly support the work that CORE does in the area of creation science, but the number of students being served by CORE is small so we made the decision to cut funding.”

CORE was founded in 1989 on the initiative of then-President Hanna under the leadership of Dr. Kurt Wise. Dr. Todd Wood joined the staff in 2000, and became director in 2006 when Dr. Wise took another position.

Drs. Todd Wood and Roger Sanders, assisted by part-time staff member Stephanie Wood, will continue their work through June. If other private funding becomes available, CORE could continue its work at the college.

“In the coming months I am confident the CORE scientists, assisted by college staff as possible, will explore possible funding alternatives to continue the work that is so important to developing a creationist understanding of God’s creation.”

The Bryan Institute for Critical Thought and Practice was organized in 2005 at the initiative of Dr. Livesay and under the direction of Dr. Charles Van Eaton. The institute’s purpose is to present programs and publications giving students and the broader community deeper insights into contemporary issues from a Christian worldview. In 2009, Dr. Daryl Charles succeeded Dr. Van Eaton as director.

“The Bryan Institute has provided exciting and challenging opportunities for our students, and losing the leadership of Dr. Charles is truly a disappointment. We hope to find other ways to continue this level of scholarship and challenge for our students.”