Today, I resigned from the Shimer College board of Trustees. This is my letter of resignation.
Sent: Fri Oct 15 13:03:50 2010
Subject: Resignation from the Shimer Board of Trustees
Chairman Chris Nelson (and fellow trustees):
With a sad heart, I tender my resignation from the board of trustees of Shimer College, to be effective immediately. My love for the Great Books and interest in seeing college students introduced to them are undiminished, but I no longer believe that serving on the Shimer board is the best way to advance these interests.
The specific reasons for my resignation are the following:
* The illegal termination of President Tom Lindsay, made possible only because of the votes cast by inside trustees with conflicts of interest due to Tom’s plans to implement long-needed reforms;
* Concealment from me and other trustees of information concerning the status of litigation involving Tom’s termination, the committee I was assigned to (Advancement), the hiring of new staff, approval of faculty compensation agreements, and changes in the composition of board committees, all of which make it impossible for me to fulfill my duties as a trustee;
* Failure of the chairman and interim president to address any of the concerns about the quality of education being provided to students attending Shimer, expressed repeatedly by a majority of the outside trustees (and the subject of my blog post following the last regular board meeting); and
* The astonishing decision made most recently by a slender majority of the board, once again led by inside trustees with conflicts of interest, to change the college’s bylaws to allow for the removal and addition of trustees by simple majority vote, followed immediately by another special meeting that stacked the board with new trustees who apparently had pledged to oppose the reforms sought by President Lindsay.
I have no interest in serving on a board that so cavalierly disregards its basic fiduciary responsibilities. The misbehavior of the anti-reform faction of this board should serve as an example and warning of what happens when ideology and conflicts of interest, rather than obedience to an organization’s mission, are allowed to set board policy.
I urge all other trustees who are dissatisfied with how Shimer is being run to similarly resign forthwith.