D’Souza vs. Olasky at The Kings College

BREAKING NEWS:  D’Souza just resigned from The Kings College.  –JF

In case you have not heard, Dinesh D’Souza, the outspoken conservative pundit, debater, and president of evangelical The Kings College in Manhattan, has a bit of a problem.  He is apparently engaged to one woman and married to another.  The conservative evangelical World magazine broke the story and Christianity Today has provided some clarification.  D’Souza has responded to the World story here.

In a very revealing piece at The New Republic, Amy Sullivan calls our attention to the longstanding differences between World‘s editor Marvin Olasky and D’Souza.  Olasky was the provost at The King’s College when D’Souza arrived and resigned shortly after it was announced that D’Souza would be the new president.

Here is a taste of Sullivan’s piece:

Olasky has been editor-in-chief at World for more than a decade. But in 2007, he shifted most of his focus when he was named provost for The King’s College, an evangelical school housed in the Empire State Building in New York City. Originally an unremarkable Christian college located in Westchester County and run by fundamentalist but apolitical leaders, King’s was re-launched in the mid-1990s with the purpose of bringing conservative culture warriors into the heart of the secular city.

Only a few hundred students are enrolled at King’s, which provides a choice of only two majors—business and politics/economics. The school offers no science classes, and students reportedly complained early on in Olasky’s tenure that he weakened academic standards. One of his main efforts at King’s was a
guest lecture series that mostly brought in conservative heavyweights like Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, but also invited the occasional liberal for ambushing. After one such event at which Olasky harangued Duke theologian Stanley Hauerwas—who can hold his own when it comes to harangues—the student government at King’s was so appalled that it voted to rebuke Olasky and demand he apologize to Hauerwas. (He did not.) I endured a similarly unpleasant experience with Olasky when I spoke at King’s in 2009. It is the closest I have ever come to walking out in the middle of an event.

With his high profile in the conservative world, Olasky was the face of King’s, and in 2010 he declared that one of his roles as provost was to make sure that the school “remains firmly in the Protestant, evangelical tradition.” Not long after, King’s hired D’Souza to serve as the school’s president. D’Souza sometimes identifies as an evangelical, sometimes as a Catholic, and his hiring raised eyebrows in the Christian press. Those eyebrows lifted even further when, just a few months after D’Souza’s hiring, Olasky resigned his position.

Bring back the days of Robert A. Cook!  “Walk with the King today and be a blessing!”  See an earlier piece we did on King’s here.