On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, the Adventist Review carried an announcement from the church’s top attorney Karnik Doukmetzian, asserting that the litigation filed by La Sierra University employees Jeffry Kaatz, James Beach, and Gary Bradley is “without merit, and will be defended in the most appropriate manner.”
He said that “External counsel has been retained through Adventist Risk Management which provides insurance coverage for the defendants involved, and will be defending the organization and individuals named in the suit.”
However, he did not identify the name of the law firm that Adventist Risk Management has chosen to handle this responsibility.
The Redlands law firm McCuneWright, LLP, filed the action against La Sierra University, the Pacific Union Conference, the North American Division, as well as against Ricardo Graham, the president of the Pacific Union Conference, Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division and Larry Blackmer, vice president for education of the North American Division.
The church defendants now have a 30-day period to respond to the charges.
August 28, 29 is the date for the constituency meeting of the Pacific Union Conference and the election of officers. The nominating committee had already returned Ricardo Graham’s name for the position of president before the LSU lawsuit was filed. With their yes or no vote, delegates will decide whether the litigation and its injunction against Graham should affect his employment status. An additional item on the agenda for the meeting will be whether or not to change the Union’s bylaws provision for the selection of the nominating committee. The Pacific Union is the only union that has its executive committee serve as the nominating committee (with 11 additional people added by the conferences). Delegates will be given the option of amending the bylaws to be consistent with other unions in naming a unique committee to perform the nominating function.
Attorney and LSU Board of Trustees member Meredith Jobe will chair the LSU Bylaws Committee sessions as it drafts a response to the July 5 letter from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In its July 5 letter to LSU, WASC gave the university 90 days to draft bylaw changes that would create an independent governing board.
Readers of the news about La Sierra on this web site have asked for more information about the Adventist Accrediting Association. In 2008, an article about the Association appeared in the Journal of Adventist Education. For further information about the AAA, read it here: http://circle.adventist.org//files/jae/en/jae200870041505.pdf
The composition of the AAA Board is set out in the General Conference Working Policy as follows:
Chair, Director GC Department of Education
Executive Secretary, Associate Director GC Department of Education
Ex-Officio Members: GC President, GC Secretary, GC Treasurer
GC Vice President – Education Advisory (s)
Four Associate Directors – GC Department of Education
ECD Education Director
ESD Education Director
EUD Education Director
IAD Education Director
NAD Education Director
NSD Education Director
SAD Education Director
SID Education Director
SPD Education Director
SSD Education Director
SUD Education Director
TED Education Director
WAD Education Director
College/University Board Chairman
College/President Academic VP/Dean
College/University Registrar/Admissions Officer
College/University Finance Officer
College/University Dean/Department Chair of Education
Union Director of Education
Conference Director of Education
GC Chaplaincy Ministries Director or designee
Three Individual with International Experience in Adventist Education
Two Individuals Engaged in Education Not Employed by the Church
Invitees: Representative from Adventist Risk Management, Representative from General Conference Accounting Services, Representative from Office of General Counsel
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/3315