It’s a big week for trashing bastions of conservative Christianity. We’ve already heard about the problems at Answers in Genesis. Now a former professor at Liberty University is speaking out.
Brian Melton was an instructional mentor at Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s school for several years, working what he says was a full-time job on paper while receiving a part-time salary (without benefits or tuition assistance).
At one point, he was told he worked enough hours to receive health insurance through Liberty — a huge deal! — but it turned out to be a ruse. That’s partly because “enough hours” was never defined, and if he dropped below that magical line, he would lose his coverage.
From that moment, I knew that this was, in reality, nothing but an intentional set up. The reason they would tell no one where the line lay was because it was mobile — no one would ever cross it again. No matter how much we worked, it would always be “unfortunately” short of the goal. In fact, Liberty had obfuscated on Obamacare as long as they could, and now they were being forced to offer coverage to all full time workers. Rather than be frank about it, they were playing the situation off like this was a friendly and helpful boon to their employees, all the while laying plans to revoke the coverage at the first opportunity and blame it on said employees. It was as dishonest as it was obvious.
He lost coverage within a month. So did many other employees.
Another time, he was told he would be limited to 30 “theoretical” hours of work a week. But the actual number of teaching hours, for which he got paid, turned out to be much smaller… all while the number of administrative hours, for which he was not paid, went significantly up.In summary:
… I found myself in an interesting position: I was working full time hours at a part time job that had at least full time expectations, being told that I could get in trouble if I didn’t accomplish my full time work in my part time hours. I operated on a one year contract with no job security under implied threats of “non-renewal” delivered via smarmy video messages that tracked how much of each you watched.
… All of this was happening in the name of Christ, and every complaint was expected to be excused for the sake of the mission, a mission that it was increasingly clear the school’s own president regarded as secondary to making money and winning football games (since confirmed directly in a recent tweet).
Liberty University as a whole was as shifty, dishonorable, unprincipled, and hypocritical a work environment as could be offered. I could not trust my family to them, and I increasingly found it hard to have my reputation associated with an organization that had proved itself so often without honor.
Wow. “Shifty, dishonorable, unprincipled, and hypocritical.”
Liberty University has a new motto. (Quick. Someone make the new logo.)
Melton ended up leaving his job the first chance he got. He told his superiors in advance, though he still got an email from Liberty saying his contract would not be renewed. (You can’t break up with me! I’m breaking up with you!)
Good thing he never signed a non-disclosure agreement.
Though, given Falwell’s public behavior, what he did in private is hardly a surprise. A Liberty University degree is a barely worth the one-ply toilet paper they likely keep in the dorms. But as long as the school makes money — gotta take care of the pool boy — Falwell doesn’t give a damn if the staff is treated fairly or if students are prepared for a future outside Lynchburg, Virginia.