Shimerians interested in pursuing independent legal representation for the
Community are invited to send their info (name, year of graduation if
applicable, willingness to contribute funds, anything else that seems
pertinent) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Communications will be kept in
absolute confidence, as far as legally possible. So far 26 have signed on.
Thanks to Dan Merchan for suggesting this originally, and to Katie Harrell
for helping with the signup sheets.
Nobody wants things to work out this way. It is with a very heavy heart
that I am holding on to the modest donation I had been planning to make this
month. I would look toward actual legal action against the Board (which is
to say, against the College as institution) with indescribable horror. And
it is unclear, at this juncture, what avenues might be available even if we
do pursue this. Nonetheless, until the President and Board show by words and deeds that they are prepared to enter
into a dialog of equals with the community, the college will be in mortal
danger of being reduced to a meaningless shell.
In case anyone is wondering what all the fuss is about, here are some choice
words from current Trustees, as contained in the handout distributed at the
"I was surprised to learn that despite the recent By-Laws change there was
still a perception that governance of the College was a communal and
consensual process." -- Bob Chitester
"It is disheartening to see from today's Assembly agenda that the issue is
still considered, by some, to be a matter of discussion and, furthermore, to
see that this 'discussion' continues to foster a culture of dissension at
the college." -- Claudia Allums
"I understand that certain members of the Assembly may even plan to
introduce measures to reinstitute the participatory model of decision-making
that is no longer in effect and that the Board rightly discarded eighteen
months ago..." -- Michael McDonald
"I understand that there are continued efforts among some Shimer faculty and
staff to contend for, and to propagate among the students, an understanding
of College governance that is contrary to the plain meaning of the
By-Laws..." -- Carson L Holloway
These people must be stopped.
Update: In response to some questions and concerns, let me clarify that any legal action (if any is possible) remains an extreme last resort. However, it is imperative that we be prepared to take this step if it is necessary. Much will depend on how (or if) the Board and President respond to the statements made by the Assembly.
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