Tengatenga will no longer lead Tucker Foundation

by MICHAEL RIORDAN | 8/14/13 1:15pm

After personally meeting with Right Rev. James Tengatenga, College President Phil Hanlon revoked his appointment as dean of the Tucker Foundation, citing concern over previous statements Tengatenga made regarding homosexuality.

Before the College appoints a new Tucker dean, Hanlon has ordered the formation of a task force to clarify the organization's mission and structure.

Hanlon stressed the College's commitment to diversity and support for gay rights in a statement to the Dartmouth community.

"The foundation and Dartmouth's commitment to inclusion are too important to be mired in discord over this appointment," Hanlon said in the statement. "Consequently, we have decided not to move forward with the appointment of Dr. Tengatenga as dean of the Tucker Foundation."

In 2012, the Malawi Council of Churches, which Tengatenga once chaired, pressured the Malawi government to uphold the criminalization of homosexuality, claiming the practice went against their Christian values.

Upon being named to replace former Tucker dean Richard Crocker, Tengatenga announced his support for same-sex marriage, explaining that he had previously articulated the Church's beliefs and not his personal views.

Despite his stated support for gay rights, Dartmouth's NAACP chapter circulated a petition objecting to Tengatenga's appointment that was signed by a number of campus groups and over 30 faculty and staff members.

Tucker hosted a meeting on July 22 for community members to publicly express concerns regarding Tengatenga's appointment.