Provost Terry King created the panel to advise him after BSU received a threatening letter from an attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which alleges the honors science course is “a one-sided monologue by a government-paid employee whose agenda is to show that science proves the truth of religion.”Ball State University has invoked the defense that these reports are part of the life of the university and should not be public:
Ball State earlier also declined to release student evaluations of the course.
FFRF and The Discovery Institute, an intelligent design think tank that is supporting physicist Hedin, are criticizing Ball State’s decision to keep the records secret.
BSU spokeswoman Joan Todd said: “We define student evaluations and other teaching evaluations, such as the review panel's report, as part of a personnel file. It is not our practice to release such materials. We have a consistent history of protecting the privacy of personnel records and do not believe that Dr. Hedin should be treated differently.Eventually, however, the results of the report will be felt. Although you can't see a black hole, you can tell it is there based on what happens around it. Hedin's class will either continue or be cancelled and the report will have a role to play in his tenure application, when it happens. It may also be leaked at some point. Until then, Ball State University has gone silent on the matter.