CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University President Dr. Thomas White was placed on administrative leave Friday while the university investigates the hiring and firing of a professor.
Dr. Anthony Moore was terminated April 23 after White discovered Moore violated the terms of a “five year plan for restoration.” Moore had been fired as campus pastor of The Village Church in Forth Worth, Texas, in 2017 after allegations that he recorded another person on two occasions.
White hired Moore based on what he later called “an incomplete narrative about Anthony Moore’s sin and termination from the Village Church.”
“On April 22, 2020, I learned that I did not have all the information about the original incident,” White said in an online statement. “Instead of at most two videos, I heard there were at least five videos. Instead of this being over a short period of time, I heard that these were taken over a period of at least five months. I also heard details of an unhealthy friendship. I confirmed that the two people who counseled with Anthony at Cedarville did not know this information either. If I had known these items at the beginning, I would not have attempted the plan for restoration.”
In response, the CU board announced three courses of action.
— At White’s recommendation, CU is hiring an independent firm to conduct an internal investigation to ensure nothing inappropriate involving Moore took place on campus or with any CU students elsewhere. This firm will report to the board, and the board will then report the findings to the Cedarville University community at-large.
— The university is retaining an independent firm to conduct an audit of the entire process surrounding the hiring of Moore, including a thorough review of all relevant communication involving White and Moore, the trustees, The Village Church, employment references, etc. The firm will report its findings to the board.
— Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Loren Reno was named acting president of Cedarville University. Gen. Reno currently serves as senior advisor, office of the president, and was formerly vice president for academics at Cedarville. White has pledged his full support of both internal reviews being conducted and will make himself available to respond to either inquiry as requested. White will also fulfill his commitment to participate in the Senior Celebration online event on Saturday to honor the class of 2020.
“I’m sorry that I brought Anthony Moore to Cedarville University,” White said in a video released to the CU community. “I did not know all the information at first. When we learned the new information, we took the action needed. Dr. Moore violated our agreement. There are no other plans for restoration like this on campus.”
The Moore situation has led to online petitions calling for White’s firing or resignation. A post at change.org calls for White to be immediately terminated. It calls itself an organization of alumni, professors, staff and former employees.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.