In an absolutely shocking development, the UIUC is offering Dr. Ken Howell his job back.
However, the university insists that the Diocese of Peoria is not to pay for the position - Howell's salary will come out of the UIUC faculty coffers from this point forward.
I am amazed.
I did not expect him to be teaching there again, nor did he.
Kudos to the Facebook support group and to all those involved in the negotiations, including Bishop Daniel Jenky and the Alliance Defense Fund, the Protestant legal group that was working with Dr. Howell to reverse UIUC's decision.
I am happy to see that this has come to a positive conclusion.
Now, some might still be upset with me about my earlier comments concerning Bishop Jenky's involvement, given the happy resolution of the case.
I stand by my opinion that the Newman Center's firing of Dr. Howell was far too hasty, and I stand by the opinion that it is highly unlikely Dr. Howell was fired from the Newman Center without the Bishop's knowledge and approval.
You may argue that this was merely a tactic to increase pressure on UIUC, that Bishop's heart was not really in it, and both those statements may well be true.
But, tactic or no, it didn't reflect well on the Bishop or on Newman Center.
The various strategies of the various parties involved have, however, come together so that Dr. Howell again has a position, fleeting as adjunct instruction is.
And that is certainly a good thing.