Friday, November 13, 2009

Current Shimer Changes, Mission Statement, New President, etc

Via Denise Lane:

Hello! I'm writing you to make sure you, as Shimer alumns, have heard about the current goings-on at the college. I'm worried about the state of the college, as are faculty, students, staff, and other alumns I've spoken to.

The college is at a crossroads, and if the current president, Tom Lindsay, has his way, some faculty and students are allegedly considering walking out.

THIS SUNDAY, November 15th at 4:00pm is an Assembly meeting at the College, which all alumns are invited to attend (we are a non voting part of the Assembly, which means we can speak). At this meeting the Ethos of the College is being defended against a true attempt to significantly alter Shimer's mission. If you are in the Chicago area and can attend - PLEASE DO. I have more specific info I can forward you, just let me know.

Tom Lindsay wants to remake the college and his tactics frighten me. He fired Elaine, the Head of Admissions, without discussing it with anybody in the community, and in my view, without showing proper cause. (Besides which she was being more successful at bringing in the numbers than Shimer has *ever* seen before.) This has current staff members fearing for their jobs.

He then replaced her with a woman who was a student at his past university, who does not have the experience to hold the job. Further, he hired her against the Committee of the Assembly who had thrown out her application twice.

Both Lindsay and his new hire are not participatory in the dialogical method of Shimer, meaning to say I've heard the current community is very frustrated with his lack of listening. This concern is also held by faculty members.

The Board of Trustees does not stop him because it has ballooned by a large addition of *his* friends. The Shimer faculty and students who are on the Board have been ignored and yelled at in the meetings.

Apparently he wants to "water down" the mission of Shimer, and this Sunday's assembly meeting has an agenda item to specifically strengthen the mission instead. Please attend this if you can. I know that current Board members are planning on attending, the voices of alumns (read, possible donors in their mind) mean a lot!

If you are interested in knowing more, I suggest you sign up for "Listen" the Shimer email list which any member can post to, there has been a lot of back and forth on these issues on there. Also the President and the Board of Trustees are on the list as well.

If you are interested in more info, let me know. Otherwise thanks for reading this long. I truly believe in Shimer and I don't want a Neo-Conservative stonewalling and taking over just because he and his friends have a lot of money. Please help.


For those Shimerians who need to get on to Listen to receive the emails: choose the first "this", choose "listen", and create a logon. It will email a confirmation. Let me know if you have any problems.

1 comment :

Saradevil said...

It's come to my attention that the current president of Shimer does not have time to follow the Listen board.

However, he is interested in hearing from all concerned parties. He can be emailed directly at