Thursday, November 19, 2009

Background on Newly Appointed Board Members

This is information, originally from Michael Sussman, posted by Eric Badger and reposted with his permission. Michael took some time to look into the board members whose letters have been posted and which were read during the Nov. 15, 2009 Assembly.

The below comment was posted on my page by Michael Sussman. In a further effort to provide evidence for the current concerns, I'm reposting it here.

I'll just mention, for context, that Patrick Parker was the chair of the Board committee that hired Lindsay. At the time, I was told by other members of the committee that he pushed hard for Lindsay's hire, neglecting other applications, and both passively and actively ignoring the opinions of others on the committee as well as the overwhelming disapproval of the internal community.

As for the others who sent these messages, they are ALL brand new Lindsay appointees, none of them having more than a 6 months experience of Shimer. Pointedly, this means that NONE of them are speaking from experience when they interpret the May 2008 Constitution & By-Law revisions.


Well, this is disheartening. The repeated use of the word "dysfunctional" in 4 of the 6 opinions expressed here makes these sound more like previously agreed talking points than sincere dialogue.

A little googling for background on some of these folks also proved somewhat disturbing:

Patrick Parker, the "second largest financial supporter" is also the president of the Aequus Institute, whose purpose is to promote free market economics and Christian Science teachings. He's also done quite a bit of work for the Department of Defense.... Read More

Bob Chitester is President and CEO of Free to Choose Media, a company dedicated to producing films ranging from an exoneration of Milton Friedman's free market economic theories to documentaries attempting to debunk global warming which feature Exxon-Mobil funded scientists.

Carson Holloway, a political science professor at U Nebraska, is a contributing author to the hard-right National Review Online and given lectures to the authoritarian Family Research Council concerning the immorality of sexual freedom. He's also published books concerning the "moral failure of Darwinism".

Matthew Franck, a political science professor at Radford, is also a contributing author of National Review Online where he argues against gay marriage, abortion, and the general "leftist agenda".

Michael McDonald, General Counsel for the NEH, also founded the conservative law firm Center for Individual Rights (CIR), which litigates affirmative action cases and defends public funding for religious groups. They also were involved with the US vs. Morrison case, in which a female Virginia Tech student claimed several football players had raped her...CIR represented one of the football players. Former staff of CIR includes the prestigious Ann Coulter.

Shimer, what kind of company have you been keeping lately?


Steve said...

Just to add one more to the rogues' gallery: Board member Joseph L. Bast is President of The Heartland Institute. They take money from Exxon-Mobile and other oil and energy companies to promote "science" on "the myth of global warming" and from tobacco companies to advocate that second hand smoke is safe. According to the Wikipedia article on them, dozens of scientists have complained about them misrepresenting their work.

Auntie Lolo said...

Whatever we think of the background of the board members: is there anything we can do to influence board member choices in the future?

Some said...

Yes Lolo, we can raise the necessary funds to have our own Board members seated. There are already some fundraising movements underway, if you could contribute $100 towards it that would make a huge difference.

Issac Gnuton said...

Maybe some of this is, in a way, withing the Shimer tradition...

After all, Science-Deniers such as our Heartland Institute trustee, could well be just former Shimerians who dropped out immediately after they finished the Phlogiston and Caloric theory parts of Nat Sci I.