In February, Rider University’s Dean of the College of Business chose to resign over the school’s ban on Chick-fil-A becoming an on campus restaurant.
The university won’t allow the fast food chain on their grounds because of the establishment’s upholding of Christian values, claiming in an email “their corporate values had not sufficiently progressed enough to align with Rider’s values.”
“I felt like I had been punched in the stomach when I read that statement,” Newman told Campus Reform. “I'm a very committed Christian and Chick-fil-A’s values – their corporate purpose statement is to glorify God and to be faithful stewards of all that’s entrusted to them and to have a positive influence on everyone who comes into contact with them – and I would say that that mirrors my personal beliefs perfectly. And so, I really felt it very personally."
After reaching out to university leadership and seeking an apology for the “offensive statement” the school issued concerning Chick-fil-A, Newman wasn’t satisfied with their response.
“The university did issue a second email to the campus community, but there was no apology included,” Newman said.
The school chose to send out “talking points” — with the intention of responding “to anyone who was critical of the Chick-fil-A decision” — instead of addressing the issues Newman brought to their attention.
“It was at that point – when I got those talking points – that I realized that I couldn’t in good conscience adhere to those,” she stated. “To say that we should respond by saying the university seeks to produce individuals that are responsible citizens — for example — well, the implication is that people who adhere to values similar to Chick-fil-A’s are not responsible citizens.”
The dean announced her resignation on Feb. 14 explaining to both faculty and staff that should couldn’t adhere to guidelines that demeaned her values as a Christian.
"As some of you already know, I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ," she said in her announcement. "As such, I endeavor every day to do exactly what Chick-fil-A puts forward as its overarching corporate value: to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to me and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with me."
Newman’s resignation takes effect on Aug. 31, according to Campus Reform.
You can check out her interview with Campus Reform’s Cabot Phillips below: