Jan 26, 2010

Helpful suggestions for the Board of Trustees

What kind of evidence would prove to the community that it can trust the leadership of Mr. Lindsay and the Board? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Mr. Lindsay and the Board could formally and respectfully recognize the Assembly resolutions from November 15. The Assembly and its committees are a symbol of Shimer's commitment to real, authentic, dialogue - dialogue in which everyone's voice is taken seriously and the best ideas govern rather than simply the ideas of those with power. The contempt Mr. Lindsay and some of his allies on the Board have shown for the Assembly has demonstrated an arrogant disinterest in engaging in genuine dialogue and, predictably, raised fears about their ability to represent our unique community and the direction they want to take it in.
  2. Mr. Lindsay could take the overwhelming community opposition to his suggested rewrite of the mission statement seriously, admit that his view does not represent the community, and set aside the cause of changing it. People are open to reconsidering it, but they're furious about his arrogant assumption that he understands what Shimer does better than the entire community after sitting in on a handful of classes. He doesn't, and if he respected the community and knew how to listen, he'd take this off his agenda. Practically speaking, as a leader, he should realize that it's not worth the political capital him and the Board are losing over the fight.
  3. The Board could bring the six trustee candidates who were "tabled" by the nominating committee on January 18 to a full vote. When the Board, for the first time in recorded history, effectively turns down $60,000+ and several new members whose qualifications meet or exceed the qualifications of current members, all while the stated claim is that we want to expand to 40 members, it makes the community wonder why. Unfortunately, the obvious reason is that they weren't Mr. Lindsay's nominees and they don't have strong libertarian/conservative credentials like our last 20 or so candidates.