Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University > Alumni & Friends > Stay Connected > Out of The Blue > Posts > An update from Millikin

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. Read more and the August issue of Out of the Blue.

 

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 alumnews@millikin.edu.

Comments

Redemption

Dr. St. James' story is the epitome of redemption.  I'm proud to say I not only was his student, but had the opportunity to learn from such a passionate and intelligent man. I am proud to say I am a Millikin alum and that the university stands behind this great professor.
Guest on 8/20/2013 9:55 AM

Dr. St. James

Congratulations Millikin for not conforming!   Dr. St. James paid for his crime and he has made such a huge difference to so many young adults at Millikin as well as many of the citizens of Decatur.

I am so proud of MU for doing the right thing and sticking by this incredible professor!

Sincerely,
Renee Lahey Solano -Class of 1992
Guest on 8/20/2013 9:57 AM

Dr. Saint James

I first heard about this when in Decatur last week for my 45th high school reunion.  He's been teaching at Millikin for 27 years and I see no problem with him continuing.  He paid his debt and became a successful educator.  There are several eastern universities with professors of national notoriety from anti-government activities in the 70's an 80's who are accepted as educators despite their past without any problems.
Guest on 8/20/2013 10:02 AM

Re: An update from Millikin

Did the employment app ask the appropriate historical question?
Guest on 8/20/2013 10:45 AM

Lowered the Status of "Professor"

Dr. St. James has diminished the respected position of professor for the Millikin faculty and community.  I would like to hear from him if someone can "pay their debt" and be rehabilitated from insanity.
Guest on 8/20/2013 11:11 AM

There was one person who knew the truth.......

My issue is that Dr. James didn't mention his past when he was interviewed. Now one can say..would you if it had been you?  And I would have to say yes.  Lies of omission are still lies. Regardless of how things have turned out, if he had been honest and forth coming from the beginning, Millikin wouldn't be in this position of being blindsided like the rest of us.  They would have been able to say.."Yes we knew..and we wanted to give him his chance at redemption."

Now that might be a fairy tale to think anyone would offer that information but in the end there was one person who always knew the truth and that is Dr. James.  He knew that by keeping this quiet he was risking the chance that it would come out and embarrass the very institution that gave him his chance in the first place.

I can't overlook that.  And please..let's not compare an activist to someone who committed an act of violence to that horrible degree.  They are NOT the same thing. 

At this stage, Dr. James needs to resign.  I am sure he knew one day this would happen..and it has.  Step down please. 

Peter Jones  Class of 1985
Guest on 8/20/2013 11:18 AM

Disgusting

This message came to be over national TV and I found myself embarrassed to say I am a graduate of Millikin University!  When it is spoken on several national TV networks, the commentators were making some comments that showed their disgrace for this even to happen in what used to be a great, highly respected school!  I am disgusted with this hire and Millikin will not be getting any money from in the future!
Guest on 8/20/2013 12:54 PM

Hotbed of Controversy

An issue of this nature is always going to stir great debate on both sides of the issues.  I applaud Millikin for not making a snap decision to ruin the life of one of their employees for the simple matter of caving in to a media-inspired frenzy.  After 27 years, I would expect that the appropriate people within the University have had a chance to get to know him and make a good decision about his continued employment.  If they had their doubts, this would be an easy way to oust him.  If they valued this person, they could show some moxy and stand by him. 

Too many people have knee-jerk reactions to information they receive without really getting to know an entire situation fully.  I don't know the full scope of the situation any better than most of us who have read an article or two. 

Most people have scandalous issues from their life they would best like to put behind them and move on.  Most people have that luxury and get to live on as thought their "bad situation" didn't occur.  Unfortunately, when someone has that moment of their life come to light, it normally brings their life crashing down around them.

I wish Millikin, Dr. St. James and all of the students that have had and will have contact with him the best of luck.  Be aware of the past, but move forward.
Guest on 8/20/2013 1:49 PM

Applause for the right decision

I too, am proud that Millikin has stood by Professor St. James.  I was appalled at the way the reporter 'outed' him - ambush was a better term - and feel his record of exemplary teaching for more than a quarter century should in and of itself be a testament to his turning his life around.
Guest on 8/20/2013 2:34 PM

If I hear "traumatic experiences" one more time...

This is a disgusting absolution of responsibility. Why does Millikin pretend that St. James was the victim? Saying that he repaid his debt by spending 6 years in a hospital is a farce.

Then again, an aging mass-murderer isn't more of a threat than the drug dealers and gang members who surround campus. At least St. James never hit me up for money on the way to class....

Speaking of money, I still have my $2 bill from graduation. Maybe I'll make a donation to Millikin in memory of the Wolcott family.





Guest on 8/20/2013 5:40 PM
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL