Home Christian News Calvin University President Wiebe Boer Resigns Amid Allegations of ‘Unwelcome and Inappropriate’...

Calvin University President Wiebe Boer Resigns Amid Allegations of ‘Unwelcome and Inappropriate’ Behavior

Wiebe Boer
Screengrab via YouTube / @Calvin University

Dr. Wiebe Boer has resigned as president of Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after he allegedly “engaged in unwelcome and inappropriate communication and attention toward a non-student member of the campus community,” the school announced on Monday, Feb. 26. 

Calvin University is a private Christian institution that was founded by the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC), a denomination with roots in the Dutch Reformed Church, in 1876. The CRC owns the university to this day.

“The Board of Trustees of Calvin University is committed to fostering a workplace and educational environment that emphasizes the worth of every member of our community,” the school said in a statement. “This includes taking seriously all reports of inappropriate conduct.”

The university clarified that the allegations against Boer did not include “sexually explicit communication or physical contact, but the alleged conduct is concerning and inappropriate.” 

The statement went on to say that “Boer denied some of the allegations but did admit to sending communications that were inappropriate and inconsistent with the high standard of conduct and character expected of the President of Calvin University” and subsequently resigned. 

Boer, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale University, became Calvin University’s 12th president in June 2022. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Calvin in 1997, when the school was still named Calvin College. 

Prior to becoming Calvin’s president, Boer did not have experience leading an educational institution but instead held leadership roles in various nonprofit and for-profit organizations. He is the son of missionaries to Nigeria, where he was born and raised. 

Boer assumed his role at Calvin University during a time of tumult at the school, as leadership had been wrestling with how to address issues of LGBTQ+ inclusion. In June 2022, the CRC codified language in its confession of faith that specifies “homosexual sex” as a sin. This move put some of the faculty members at Calvin University at odds with the denomination that owns the school. 

In November 2022, with the blessing of the CRC, faculty members who disagree that sex outside of heterosexual marriage is sinful were allowed to register their dissent regarding the new clause in the CRC’s statement of faith about sexuality without losing their positions at the school.

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However, in April 2023, former Calvin professor Joseph Kuilema sued Calvin University following the school’s decision not to renew his appointment after he officiated the wedding of a transgender former student. Kuilema was previously named the school’s “professor of the year” in 2019.