Millikin psychology professor James St. James recently made national headlines, and our office felt it was important to update alumni and friends on the status of his employment. The university’s senior leadership learned of Dr. St. James’ history last month and has reaffirmed he will teach this fall as he has done the past 27 years. Many alumni and current students, especially those who had Dr. St. James as a professor, have voiced their strong support of this decision, while others have asked for his removal from the classroom.
Millikin University stands by Dr. St. James in recognition of his record of educating Millikin students for 27 years. Given the traumatic experiences of his childhood, his efforts to rebuild his life and obtain a successful professional career are remarkable. After being found not guilty by reason of insanity, he complied with the court's ruling and received help for his mental health, after which he rebuilt his life. Dr. St. James has made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of students since coming to Millikin in 1986.
Differing opinions about his future employment have been expressed, and we respect and understand that not all will support the university’s decision. We affirm that we remain, as always, steadfastly committed to ensuring our campus community is a safe and productive educational environment, always attentive first to what is in the best interest of great teaching and learning and to our shared imagination of Millikin at its best. We realize that we are a university, not a uniformity; we bring people together but do not demand everyone think alike. The Millikin family is a community of thinkers and leaders with strong voices and diverse views. We are a community of care and respect-- it is part of our excellence. Should you have questions or concerns, please call Deb Kirchner, senior director of communications, in the Alumni and Development Office at 217-424-6383 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.