Voithia - July 21, 1997

The Turmoil At Hellenic College - An Incomplete Story

Lost in the story about the turmoil at Hellenic College is the fact that the troubles did not begin with the alleged cover-up of a case of sexual harrassment. As the new President has stated, the faculty fired were terminated because of the instability that has been going on at the School for more than a year. But just what was the nature of this "instability"? So far there has been little discussion of this issue.

Part of the story which has been glossed over is that Dr. Evie Homberg was excluded from faculty meetings at Holy Cross by the then-President, Fr. Calivas, who had to be ordered by the Archbishop to reinstate her. With Homberg excluded, the meetings consisted exclusively of men. Only with the Archbishop's intervention was she restored to her to her proper place. This part of the story has been overlooked because of allegations of a cover-up of a case of sexual harrassment.

Also missing from the story which has emerged thusfar is that there was an element of poetic justice in the demotions and firings of Hellenic College faculty. I say this because it was Father Calivas who fired my father, Rev. Dr. Nomikos Michael Vaporis, from the faculty of Hellenic College soley based on his age. The letter of dismissal is clear in stating that his age is the sole reason for dismissal.

This action was against THE FEDERAL AGE DISCRIMINATION ACT, not to mention morally reprehensible. My father served the School for OVER thirty years, more than ten of them as Dean, and in addition to other responsibilities was Editor, without compensation, of the _Greek Orthodox Theological Review_ for 23 years. He was young enough to serve the school as Interim Dean of Holy Cross from 1993-95, but in 1996 he was rudely pushed out by Calivas, then President of Hellenic. Fellow faculty members, including one who was related to my father, did not raise a finger or say anything to try to stop this reprehensible action. This final act by Calivas (who, incidentally, is untenured) towards my father was simply a continuation of a pattern of mental harassment and bullying by the former cabal in power, similar to that which a number of brave and honest students from Hellenic College-Holy Cross have already attested to in print.

My father sought reinstatement in his tenured position through legal means so that he could continue to do what he loved, teach. He also sought payment for book royalties that were owed him from his twenty years as the founding and continuing director of the Holy Cross Press. Since Hellenic College did not reinstate my father or pay him the royalties due him before his untimely death this past January, his family has continued the suit on his behalf.

The full story about the turmoil at Hellenic College has yet to emerge, and demands that I break my silence. It is my hope that more former students will have the courage to come forward and speak the truth about these self-serving men who shame the church.

Constantine Vaporis

[ Voithia - - July 21, 1997 ]