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The LU Anthem

Another former Liberty student has opened up another line of discussion regarding the question of whether it’s reasonable for something that is Christian to be in some discernible sense “better,” in particular regarding the Humble TIP rap “LU Anthem” [link].

Humble TIP said in the song, “If it’s Christian, it should be better.”  But it wasn’t.

This is something Liberty has struggled with for some time; it was much easier to frame arguments, to claim bold things, etc. when the school was fundamentalist and inhabited a smaller cultural niche. This gets more difficult as the school gets bigger, is subject to accreditation by more organizations, is more visible to the outside world, etc. This is one reason I’ve never understood the school’s fascination with e.g. football, where Liberty’s progress toward being an evangelical Notre Dame or Brigham Young [link] can easily be measured. For the record, Liberty is in the Big South Conference, in NCAA Division I FCS; Notre Dame and Brigham Young are in the NCAA Division I FBS; you know, the one with bowls instead of a playoff. Last year the University of Alabama won the FBS national championship; the reigning FCS champion is basketball powerhouse Villanova.

But I digress. The blogger I linked above also raises some uncomfortable questions about minority enrollment and retention at Liberty. This too is something that should be relatively easy to measure. Unfortunately minority enrollment, unlike resident/online enrollment and male/female enrollment, isn’t mentioned in the Liberty Quick Facts [link].

For the record, when I was at Liberty in the late Eighties there were surprisingly many minority students; there just weren’t many African-American students, and roughly none in my upper-level major (math, computer science) classes. The school is much bigger and better-marketed twenty-five years later, so I hope this has changed.

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  1. Kevin
    September 15, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Mike – I stumbled across your site when I queried an LU article – I enjoy reading your thoughts…

    The US Department of Education’s NCES site has more detailed information about LU’s (& all schools who receive student financial aid) minority enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. Here’s the site:
    http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator

    Based on the total enrollment numbers on the site, it seems that LU is including their online students. That being said, African-Americans are 14% of their student population, but the number that stands out is their 6-year graduation rate for African-Americans: 18%. This is abysmal by almost any comparison, and is by far the worst graduation rate compared to any of their other race/ethnicity groups.

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