Jewish Journal

BYU strips degree from creator of Mormon hunk calendar

by Brad A. Greenberg

October 27, 2008 | 5:07 pm

Can a private university kill your degree years after you graduate? I wouldn’t have thought so, but, then again, I’m not too well-versed in the behaviors of dogmatic religious schools. Take for instance Brigham Young University, the flagship of Mormon academia and the alma mater of Chad Hardy.

Hardy is the sort-of infamous creator of the Mormon hunks calendar, a sin for which he was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

If religious exile wasn’t enough, Hardy has now been told by BYU that the university won’t honor his degree. His diploma has been placed on hold, pending reinstatement into the church:

A Sept. 30 letter from BYU Executive Director of Student Academic & Advisement Services Norman B. Finlinson states that a nonacademic hold was placed on Hardy’s record after the university learned of the excommunication.

‘If in the future you are reinstated as a member of the church in good standing, you are invited to contact my office regarding your possible eligibility for the awarding of a degree,’ Finlinson wrote.

Hardy said he’ll challenge BYU’s position. ‘I intend to fight this tooth-and-nail,’ the 31-year-old entrepreneur said.

This is ridiculous. If Hardy’s transgressions had occurred while he was a student and verifiably violated a student conduct policy, then I could understand, though not agree with, BYU giving him the boot. But how can the university take such an action after the fact. A degree is earned, not maintained.

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