The Proceedings: Academic Exercises Part 2For what it's worth, and before anyone starts commenting, here are some highlights from the highlights of the meeting:
The concerns of Faculty were expressed in a petition to cease all proceedings regarding John Sanders employment, signed by 30 people. (I'm working on figuring out percentage of total faculty)
The concerns of students were expressed in a petition from 100 students.
Many personal letters were written by current and past students to the board members.
President Dowden expressed "frank remarks and presented several recommendations." In support of Sanders, apparently.
The Board has committed to praying for Sanders and family.
The Board will pay Sanders one years salary as a lump sum if he finds a job next year, otherwise he will get two years salary as a lump sum.
The Board will make "steps" toward preventing this from happening again, etc. (more on this later).
And finally, I quote:
"The Board requested that faculty, staff, and trustees not make any public statements, including statements to the media, relating to Huntington College personnel matters and that all public inquiries regarding this situation be referred to the President’s Office and the Chairman of the Board. "
Apparently this is stemming from a rather embarrassing episode (for some people) dealing with Jim O'Donnell and a public address regarding the economy. Unfortunately for the board, so far as I know this is not a legally binding "request" and hopefully many "faculty, staff, and trustees" will not be afraid to speak their mind. As much as I respect the frankness with which Pres. Dowden has dealt with the issue in the press, it would make sense for certain publications (Chronicle, CT, Huntington Herald Press, etc.) to talk with certain faculty members, especially those who have been recently dismissed. Hopefully faculty members will act according to their convictions and represent the history of academic freedom by responding in apropriate but blunt ways to this decision.