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BYU SHOULD PROMOTE FREE THINKING

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I read with interest the article by W. Steve Albrecht in the Readers's Forum June 28 concerning the firing of David Knowlton in the anthropology department and Cecilia Farr in the English department at Brigham Young University. I am convinced that much effort has been made to make the faculty evaluation process equitable.

However, I would like to address Albrecht's statement, "I cannot understand why someone who doesn't agree with BYU and its sponsoring church organization's positions would want to teach here," and his implication that Farr and Knowlton are "working to destroy what the church stands for."I attended BYU for five years during the mid-'70s. My educational experience was rewarding and stimulating but was sorely lacking in one area. I failed to develop much tolerance to ambiguity and my cultural experience was very narrow.

As a result, I had very few skills in critical thinking and respecting others' opinions as legitimate.

The result was lack of confidence in dealing with the realities of the workplace and, ultimately, failure to graduate and pursue my chosen career.

Currently, I am a nursing student at University of Utah. Soon I will graduate and work at what I have always wanted to do. I credit Farr, Knowlton, and other outspoken individuals for helping me to resolve personal conflicts between my beliefs and the realities of the workplace.

Critical thinking is essential in working to resolve the complex moral/legal issues currently facing the health-care profession. Albrecht's experience is in accounting and information systems. I assume that sensitive moral issues are not a burning issue to him and that is why he doesn't understand.

Uniformity of thought is not the answer. I look at Farr and Knowlton's stand as promoting what the church stands for instead of destroying it.

BYU offers a unique learning environment by integrating spirituality as part of a whole education and promoting Christian values. I feel that the loss of Farr and Knowlton is a great loss for BYU.

My question to Albrecht is, "Why were Knowlton's international publications and Mormon studies excluded in the faculty review process?"

Donna Nicholson

Draper