For the last four years, La Sierra science professors have been legally restricted from teaching Seventh-day Adventist beliefs in their classrooms, according to a recently discovered bond document that President Randal Wisbey and Vice President for Financial Administration David Geriguis signed in August 2008. The tax-exempt revenue bonds totaled over 24 million, but the bonds used to refinance the new Thaine B. Price Science Complex were about $17 million. By signing, Wisbey and Geriguis agreed the complex would not be used for sectarian instruction, devotional activities, religious worship or to be connected with any programs of any school or department of divinity:
The Corporation covenants and agrees that no portion of the proceeds of the Bonds will be used (1) to finance or refinance any facility, place or building used or to be used for sectarian instruction or study or as a place for devotional activities or religious worship or in connection with any part of the programs of any school or department of divinity.... (Page D-32)
Page 27 of the bond document says these restrictions will last "for the duration of the useful life of the project financed with the proceeds of the Bonds."
Knowing the terms of the bond might explain Wisbey's reaction to the joint statement published in the Adventist Review October 2011 by six biology faculty and four board members "to affirm and incorporate the church's position on creation at the classroom instruction level." Wisbey condemned the joint statement under the pretense the statement creators had not recognized normal and established governance protocols. However, La Sierra administration was aware of the joint statement prior to its publication. The Associate Provost for General Education and Academic Support at La Sierra Barbara Favorito edited it.
The board later dismissed three of the four board members whose names were on the joint statement, and a few months later Lee Greer was fired.
Because of the actions of a few men, La Sierra University is caught in a covenant agreement, which prohibits it from promoting Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. The consequences of breaking the bond agreement are dealing with a potential lawsuit and/or having to pay the bond principle immediately.
Page 27 Prohibited Use Covenant
Page D-32 Prohibited Use Covenant