The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

UMC South Central Jurisdiction approves Bush Library lease 158-118, opponents appeal to Judicial Council

Delegates of the United Methodist Church’s South Central Jurisdictional Conference voted not to block the lease of land near SMU for the George W. Bush Presidential Library on July 17. The next day a delegate, Jeannie Trevino-Teddlie, appealed the decision. Teddlie questions whether the leasing of the land below market value violates SMU and church rules, which state that campus buildings must be used for religious or educational purposes. Teddlie specifically targets the Bush Public Policy Institute, which many opponents fear will hinder the free exchange of ideas that occurs in an academic setting. “In effect we’re subsidizing that land toward a policy institute that supports a political ideology,” she said in an interview to The Dallas Morning News. “I believe that’s contrary to what our [Book of] Discipline says Methodist property can be used for.” Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. will rule on the appeal within 30 days. His ruling will then be submitted to the Judicial Council, which will decide if proper procedure was followed. The council’s next meeting will be held in October. SMU was named as the official site for the library complex in February. The Bush Foundation has leased the land for the complex for $1,000 for 99 years. The UMC Mission Council approved the lease in March. “This is a common exchange in leases of this nature,” Brad Cheves, SMU’s vice president for external affairs and development, told The Associated Press. “There is tremendous value that comes to the university with attracting the library, museum and public policy institute.”

This article was written with information from The Dallas Morning News and The Associated Press

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