Concordia Chicago Family Calling for the Resignation or Removal of Regent Eric Arno Hiller

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President Dawn, Dr. Salvino, and members of the Board of Regents at Concordia University Chicago:

It is with a heavy heart that we write this letter. We – alumni, current students, friends, family, and community members of Concordia University Chicago – call for the resignation or removal of Eric Arno Hiller from the Board of Regents.

Eric Arno Hiller has posted various comments on social media that are sexist, racist, and do not reflect the values and Christian attitude expected from a leader at Concordia University Chicago.

The following are direct quotes, written by Eric Arno Hiller on Facebook in March 2018, in response to a Commission on Theology and Church Relations report entitled “Women and Military Service: A Lutheran Perspective.”  

  • “Many people want to blame women and “feminism for this [the desire of women to serve in the Armed Forces or the possibility of their conscription], and there is no doubt that they all suffer from the curse and Satanic desire to usurp male authority. There is no doubt any and all forms of feminism are, prima facia, evil.”
  • “The reality is that in our Synod (and society in general), it is the opposite. Women have authority, because weak, lazy, cowardly, men GIVE them authority. It is the fault of men this has happened.”
  • “You wanna be rich? Collect a dollar for every Boomer father and grandfather blathering to his daughter or granddaughter, “You can be anything you want to be!!!”, rather than, “God wants you to serve in these prescribed vocations.”, or white-knighting for some crypto-feminist Lutheran on FB.”
  • “Collect a dollar for every Gen-Xer who just impotently rolled his eyes at the push for “diversity” from the 90’s onward or placidly did nothing or joined the MGTOW mov’t rather than fighting wickedness.”
  • “Collect a dollar for every Millennial hipster or effete  gamma male virtue signaling about “women’s rights” and “equality” and “diversity” so that he can pitifully attract some “alpha female” to rule over him, because he lacks the confidence to deal with women head-on. Collect these dollars, and you’d be in the 1%.”
  • “It’s our fault as men, and until we do something about it, until we have the courage to say “no” to the gamma male pastors and libs cloaked in “lovingness and celebrating the gits of women” in the Synod, until we are willing to be hated as “misogynistic” and “divisive”, it will only get worse.”  

Eric Arno Hiller made these comments in a discussion on what level of education is necessary for women and what level is wasteful: 

  • “The typical women should be PRIORITIZING getting married young to a good Christian man.”
  • “However, while working, she needs to carefully manage her priorities, or she will be swept along by the wicked zeitgeist that will encourage her to get more degrees and promotions and more responsibilities. These will, of course, massively distract from her primary priorities as a single Christian woman, including finding a husband (and all the prep and activities that goes with that), serving her family, supporting her friends, serving the Church etc.”
  • “A girl with a great body is high on the list of things that says, this is a candidate... a girl that reasonably makes herself look good regularly... is attractive and signals that she cares how she looks for you.”
  • “95% of pastors are hand-wringing soy boys, who apologize and caveat embarrassingly and profusely, before they dare utter something about male leadership.”
  • “most older pastors are Boomers, a demographic who have utterly destroyed our Church, economy, nation, and folk.”
  • In response to a woman’s comment saying she is raising four daughters in the LCMS: “Raise them to be confessional barbies.” Later, “‘confessional barbie’ is a term of art that my other friends and I from FLC [First Lutheran Church, Boston, MA] use in our emails debating men and women in the church.”
  • “You can also send your husband to speak with me.”

In response to an article on the effect of affirmative action on Asian-Americans, Eric Arno Hiller wrote:

  • “But… but… but… aren’t Orientals even more “minorities?” Oh right, minority is not mathematical. Minority is a function of how incompetent and lazy a group is. Sorry orientals.”    

You can read Eric Arno Hiller's full comments in their original context by following this link.

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In the spring of 2018, a concerned alumnus brought Eric Arno Hiller's words to the attention of the Director of Alumni Relations.

The Director of Alumni Relations, having understood the severe nature of language used by Eric Arno Hiller and its negative implications for Concordia University Chicago, brought it to the attention of the Foundation President and CEO.

The Foundation President and CEO, having understood the severe nature of language used by Eric Arno Hiller and its negative implications for Concordia University Chicago, brought it to the attention of the University President.

The University President, having understood the severe nature of language used by Eric Arno Hiller and its negative implications for Concordia University Chicago, brought it to the attention of the Chair and Executive Committee of the Board of Regents.

The Executive Committee of Board of Regents discussed this language and its implications in Executive Session, but the Board of Regents did not remove Eric Arno Hiller from the board, nor did they call for a vote to remove Eric Arno Hiller from leadership, nor did they rebuke Eric Arno Hiller but, instead, protected Eric Arno Hiller by instructing him to delete his Facebook page.

In May of 2019, a concerned alumnus, again, brought this language to the attention of the University including members of board leadership, faculty, staff, and alumni. The University President brought this language to the attention of the Board of Regents and strongly advised the Board of Regents to secure Eric Arno Hiller’s resignation. The University President expressed his concern to the Board of Regents that Eric Arno Hiller’s language could do significant damage to the University’s reputation.  

In June of 2019, the Executive Committee of Board of Regents failed to add the Hiller issue to the agenda for discussion. Some members of the Board of Regents discussed this topic at length and directly with Eric Arno Hiller, asking him to resign in an attempt to clear the board of a serious ethical issue.  

Eric Arno Hiller was not repentant of his language and continued to vehemently defend his speech.

It is our understanding that numerous members of the Board of Regents have disclosed their extreme dissatisfaction with Eric Arno Hiller’s language and his subsequent unrepentant, militant behavior and attitude regarding the severity of his language.

In July of 2019, the Board of Regents held a phone meeting to discuss Eric Arno Hiller’s language and his subsequent unrepentant, militant behavior and attitude. During the phone meeting, the Board of Regents was unable to convince Eric Arno Hiller to resign and was unable to reach a two-thirds majority needed to remove a member, and so did not hold a vote for his removal.  

In July 2019, Eric Arno Hiller represented Concordia University Chicago as a floor delegate for the National LCMS Convention. During this time, a growing number of faculty, staff, alumni, current students, and others within the Concordia University Chicago community expressed their extreme dissatisfaction with the language of Eric Arno Hiller and it’s misogynistic and racist overtones.

An initial task force team of concerned alumni began to publicly share Eric Arno Hiller’s words with the broader Concordia University Chicago community via e-mail and social media. As of August 2019 more than 500 people have liked the Facebook page Concerned CUC Family. The page has reached more than 6,800 unique individuals via posts and shared posts.  

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In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul writes on the topic of the Body of Christ and calls for unity as one body: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)

We are called throughout Scripture to unity in Christ. We are called throughout Scripture to present ourselves with love and humility. We are called to abolish hatred.

The words and subsequent behavior of Eric Arno Hiller are unacceptable for a leader of a Christian university. To openly advocate for being called “misogynistic” (literally hater of women) and “divisive” is in direct contradiction to a Christian’s vocational calling. St. Paul writes in Ephesians, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Eph. 4:32)

And Jesus tells us in the book of John, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

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A public attitude of this nature from a leader at Concordia University Chicago fosters a hostile environment for young women and men seeking to fulfill their vocations. Eric Arno Hiller’s words do not build up the Church and do not demonstrate grace to those who hear and read it. Instead, Eric Arno Hiller’s words incite hatred of generations, hatred of women, hatred of men, hatred of people who are “different,” and hatred of broken and hurting people who need to hear the Gospel of Jesus.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, demand that Eric Arno Hiller's resignation or removal is secured at the September 20th - 21st meetings of the Concordia University Chicago Board of Regents.  

With grave concern for a University near to our hearts,

The Concordia University Chicago Community 

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