Ergun Caner announced this week that he was stepping down as president of Brewton-Parker College, after only a year in office. During that year, Caner led a process of appealing a threat by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges to strip the college's accreditation. On an appeal, the accreditor in December preserved the accreditation, and removed the college's probation status. Caner cited that success in announcing his resignation, but said he was leaving because he could not recover from the July suicide of one of his sons, who was 15. "Brewton-Parker College cannot become a healthy, growing and stable college under the leadership of a man who is broken," he said. "And I am admitting to you that I am broken. I can’t get over his death, and I am not sure I want to. I do know that I cannot muster the fight needed to be the leader of our college. My family and my heart need healing, and you deserve better."
Brewton-Parker is a Baptist college in Georgia and Caner is a controversial figure in evangelical Christian circles. He has written and spoken out about growing up Muslim and converting to Christianity -- a story that many have found inspiring. But some religious bloggers have questioned some parts of his story, prompting considerable debate and scrutiny. When the college hired Caner in December 2013, the press release quoted a trustee as saying: “We didn’t consider Dr. Caner in spite of the attacks; we elected him because of them. He has endured relentless and pagan attacks like a warrior. We need a warrior as our next president.”
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