Greenville, SC - An administrator with Bob Jones University has been indefinitely suspended from his position for having a prior criminal background.The official statement from BJU can be read HERE. If you wanna listen to edifying sermons by the fascinating Dr Bartosch, they are HERE.
University spokesman Randy Page issued a statement saying that Dr. Joseph Bartosch was suspended from his position as Chief Brand Officer on Friday, March 15 by school officials. Page states that school officials learned on the same day that Bartosch had been charged with soliciting a prostitute in another state two decades ago and prior to his employment with Bob Jones University.
Bartosch confirmed the allegations to school officials and put himself at their disposal, Page stated. School officials will gather facts about the incident and reach an appropriate decision as soon as possible about Bartosch's employment status.
According to online records obtained from the Superior Court of California, Bartosch was arrested and charged with misdemeanor solicitation of a prostitute in 1991. The records indicate he served three days in jail and was later sentenced to three years of probation.
Bartosch's biography indicates that he graduated from Bob Jones University in 1982 and joined the Administration in 2012. He finished with a Master of Counseling degree in 2006 and an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction in 2007. He lived in Sacramento from 1990-2004 and was Head Master at Sacramento Preparatory Academy.
This new sex-scandal comes directly on the heels of multiple scandals plaguing the school since the 2011-12 academic year, during which rape-apologist Reverend Charles Phelps resigned from the BJU board, amid protests, outrage and general disgust. Accompanying this media-foofaraw, student Christopher Peterman organized a demonstration in support of sexual abuse survivors, and was summarily tossed out of BJU, just a few days before his graduation... supposedly for watching "GLEE" on his laptop. This incident made it to CNN and beyond.
After that blew over, more or less, there were alarming accounts of sexual assaults at Bob Jones University, made public and demanding immediate follow-up. On January 10th of this year, BJU called on a non-profit Christian outfit called GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to do an independent, third-party investigation. This investigation/inquiry will continue until April 30th. However, it seems to be proceeding in the usual BJU-half-assed manner; although the school dutifully posted this info on their website, it is benignly-labeled a review rather than an investigation. In addition, they haven't alerted students and former students, nor parents, faculty, staff or alumni, that there is a survey being actively conducted. [*see edit below]
According to multiple accounts, the BJU-admin was asked to publicly announce that there was a survey and investigation underway, but they have declined to do so. (sigh) Well, of course they have.
Minding my own business in a shopping mall, when ... YOW! Accosted by Bob Jones University yet AGAIN!
As I have said here many times, they virtually RUN the upstate.
Bob Jones University, bane of our existence here in upstate South Carolina, has reacted to recent, multiple sleazy scandals (and persistent rumors) by feverishly gussying up their image. They suddenly have billboards everywhere, featuring fresh-faced, happy kids who could be students anywhere... and these groups of laughing students/poster kids invariably include ONE STUDENT OF COLOR. ((shock)) If anything shows how hard the unrelenting criticism of the past decade has hit BJU, that might be it.
When I moved to Greenville 25 yrs ago, there were NO billboards (and what kind of worldly nonsense is THAT?) and absolutely no advertising for BJU. The overriding sentiment was, they didn't want just ANYbody attending their exclusive fundamentalist enclave. If you called the place to ask admission questions, they would not answer you. You had to be recommended by godly personages and go through specific channels. They kept the majority of people out, and they were proud of it.
When BJU finally produced some cursory mainstream ads, websites and the occasional billboard--the all-white student line-up was blinding. Embarrassing, too, since Greenville is only 62% white. Apparently, BJU didn't notice the discrepancy. It was a joke all over town. People joked that you could tell whose billboards they were from a half-mile down the road: the kids are all white, must be BJU.
They have changed that, at long last. They got the memo. (At least, in the billboards and advertising; I am doubtful the school itself has integrated in any real way.)
Next up, they sold their weird radio station (that once specialized in a strange fundie-android mix of 50s-muzak and KJV-only scripture). BJU also decided to get some SPORTS going on, which they hope will draw more students and sports fans:
[Bob Jones University] plans to become part of the National Christian College Athletic Association and have intercollegiate sports in place by the 2012-2013 school year.So, they are tarting themselves up! They are getting their act together and taking it on the road.
"We really look at intercollegiate sports as rounding out the educational opportunities here for our students here at Bob Jones University," Brian Scoles, spokesman for the university, told WYFF. "Not only will it help them for developing Christ-like spirit on the athletic field, but it's also an opportunity for the community to come to campus to view one more program that we have here."
By next school year, Bob Jones plans to have men's and women's soccer and basketball programs. The athletic opportunities are expected to grow from there, starting in the fall of 2013.
Specifically, they are trying to pump up enrollment, which is currently dropping like a rock. Various reports (all fiercely disputed by BJU officials) claim that the school now has only a third of the enrollment it had during its pre-internet heyday.
And the fact that they can't even provide decent background-checks on their own employees, isn't going to help. Apparently, the students and food-service employees are subjected to stricter background checks than Bartosch was.
Stay tuned, sports fans.
*EDIT: 3/24 - Sometime in the last 10 - 14 days, BJU updated the front page of their website's link to the investigation page to read "G.R.A.C.E. Independent Investigation" instead of the completely dismissive and confusing "G.R.A.C.E. Initiates Review" that had been the previous link since January. (thanks to Jeffrey Hoffman for the correction!)