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March 1, 2012

Wheaton College Statement Regarding Arrest of Professor

Wheaton College was informed this afternoon by the DuPage County State's Attorney’s Office that Donald Ratcliff, a professor at the College, was charged with two counts of Aggravated Child Pornography. Dr. Ratcliff has been placed on administrative leave.

MARCH 7, 2012

Wheaton College was informed on Thursday, March 1, by the DuPage County State's Attorney’s Office that Dr. Donald Ratcliff, a professor at the College, was charged with two counts of Aggravated Child Pornography. Dr. Ratcliff is scheduled for a court hearing on Thursday, March 8.

Wheaton College is a Christian liberal arts college with shared moral commitments and expectations for all members of our community. As a Christian community, we find pornography morally objectionable. Our Community Covenant states, in part, ‘Scripture condemns … sexual immorality, such as the use of pornography…’ Child pornography, by its very nature, always involves victimization of the most vulnerable, and thus is particularly abhorrent. 

It is our policy and practice to respond with both appropriate accountability and Christian compassion if we become aware that a member of our community has acted in a manner inconsistent with any aspect of the Community Covenant. Wheaton College is cooperating fully with the police investigation of the charges against Dr. Ratcliff, who has been placed on administrative leave pending further review.

Within the Wheaton College faculty community, many knew that Dr. Ratcliff in December, 2010, had resigned his position, with that resignation effective June 30, 2012. His interim replacement for the 2012-13 academic year was hired several weeks ago. Plans are underway to conduct a search for the next permanent faculty appointment to this academic department.

MARCH 28, 2012

Dr. Ratcliff's employment at Wheaton College was terminated March 14.