La Sierra University Board of Trustees Removes Three Members


(system) #1

According to Larry Becker, Executive Director, University Relations:

La Sierra University’s Board of Trustees has acted to remove Kathryn Proffitt, Marta Tooma, and Carla Lidner Baum as members of the board. The board acted, pursuant to the university’s bylaws, after determining the three members failed to operate within board processes. The action is effective immediately.

Profit and Baum have served as Board members since 2006. Tooma was elected to Board membership in 2008.

These are three of the four board members who signed on to the "Joint Proposal of individual Faculty and Trustees."

Rather than theology or science, this seems to be about process. Not only were these individuals working outside of the structure of their own board but they bypassed the school's administrative framework and had their "proposal" published in international Adventist media. As detailed in the press release:

The La Sierra University Board of Trustees expressed its concern to the officers of the North American Division over the precipitous action taken to publicize the "Joint Proposal" without adequate prior consultation with the La Sierra University administration and board, especially in light of the ongoing discussions with Adventist Accrediting Association and Western Association of Schools and Colleges over issues of university governance and institutional autonomy.

In fact, in this statement, LSU actually affirms "the conceptual framework outlined in the 'Joint Proposal'" and adds that it "is not inconsistent with faculty efforts." The problem is that a few of the institution's trustees "failed to recognize normal and established governance protocols." This trumping of regular process is particularly damaging in light of the university's "ongoing discussions with Adventist Accrediting Association and Western Association of Schools and Colleges over issues of university governance and institutional autonomy."


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/3466