The Montreat College Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 to consider the future of the College. As the article below reports, many alumni and supporters urged the Board to keep Montreat College in North Carolina and to continue its educational mission. After the meeting the Board issued a statement.
The Montreat College Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 to consider the future of the College. As the article below reports, many alumni and supporters urged the Board to keep Montreat College in North Carolina and to continue its educational mission. After the meeting the Board issued the following statement:
“The Trustees of Montreat College affirm the College’s mission to sustain Christ-centered higher education in North Carolina. The Trustees continue to explore the full benefits of an affiliation agreement with Point University.”
Montreat College is approaching its century mark. However if the Executive Committee, the Board of Trustees, and some Montreat College Administrators have their way, Montreat College in Montreat, NC may not exist after the end of this fiscal year, June 30, 2014.
For all intents and purposes, decisions from the full Board of Trustees and Montreat College Administration make it seem they are courting failure, showing little outward concern for executing their official duties as outlined by North Carolina statutes, Montreat College Bylaws, and Montreat College Governance Process Policies.
Repeated calls for transparent communication have gone unheeded. The only communication appears to be choreographed, with Interim President Joe Kirkland and Trustee and Alumnus William Haynes acting as the orators sent out to “placate” alumni. Faculty, staff, and students have as many unanswered questions as alumni.
There appears to be a feeling of entitled unaccountability. It is as though they do not serve the people who have entrusted Montreat College’s past, present, and future to them. It is as though they view Montreat College as a commodity to be brokered not as an institution to be administered with stewardship.
Out of financial crisis in early 2012, which may still prove to be exaggerated or non-existent, the five-member Executive Committee was implemented. The Executive Committee has apparently strong-armed a passive Board of Trustees, selectively following Robert’s Rules of Order, until a financial crisis exists that can now close Montreat College. The Executive Committee and Interim President seem to rule without censure, making decisions imperiling Montreat College’s future.
One year ago the Executive Committee reported that Trustee Allen Bell made a “fortuitous” connection with Point University President Dean Collins at the January 2013 Passion Conference in Atlanta.
Seven months later the Executive Committee announced Montreat College would merge, not partner, with Point University. The announcement was made in the name of the full Board of Trustees even though the Board had not met since May.
No Trustee publicly questioned the action except Trustee and Alumni Association President Willie Mangum ‘88.
Alumni called for transparent communication and facilitated an online Town Hall meeting. Choreographed and scripted responses came from Interim President Joe Kirkland and Trustee William Haynes.
The annual Homecoming weekend Alumni Association meeting received a repeat performance. No new answers and no substance to the scripted responses from Interim President Joe Kirkland and Trustee William Haynes.
A proposal (read document) in the name of the Board of Trustees was made to The Mountain Retreat Association [MRA] in December 2013 to give Howerton [cafeteria and dorm], Gaither [chapel and administrative offices], and McAllister [gymnasium] to the MRA, if the MRA would change the agreement between the MRA and Montreat College, allowing Point University to have denomination control. Essential buildings were offered with the promise for Montreat College “to quit the valley” within five years.
If the merger is not approved then Montreat College may possibly close by July 2014. Someone or someones on the Executive Committee or Board of Trustees seem to need the merger to go through more than “continue and grow the traditional program at Montreat College, as well as grow the non-traditional program.” [From Chairman Barney Wright’s summary email; January 19, 2013]
No one publicly seems to be asking, “Who profits from Montreat College disappearing into Point University?”
Point University wants to possess Montreat College’s School of Professional and Adult Studies (SPAS) and Master’s degree programs.
Montreat College is one of the few colleges in North Carolina with the exclusive right to establish distance learning campuses without state pre-approval.
Montreat College has a larger endowment and net worth than Point University.
Based on the letter from the MRA (posted on this page), Point University appears to have no intention of maintaining a residential campus in North Carolina.
There appears to be no formal investigation by the State of North Carolina, Buncombe County, or SACS to see if fiduciary duty or other laws, rules, or policies have been broken.
We, as Alumni of Montreat College and Montreat-Anderson College, call on the Trustees and Administrators of Montreat College to operate with integrity and transparency in the Light of the Truth as followers of Jesus Christ.
We call on the Trustees and Administrators of Montreat College to fulfill in their lives the mission and vision statements posted as Montreat College’s raison d’être:
Our mission at Montreat College is to strive to be Christ-centered, student-focused, and service-driven.
Our vision is to become a leading provider of Christ-centered higher education, enriching lives through engagement in its communities and by promoting responsible growth, culture, and spiritual life.
In face of tremendous uncertainty about the future of Montreat College, alumni have repeatedly called for the College’s Board of Trustees to end the ongoing silent stonewalling of faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Their constituencies have been kept in the dark about the Board’s actions for far too long. We ask ALL Trustees and key Administrators to meet and discuss the merits of several funding options available for Montreat College’s future and that there be transparency in these actions.
As Montreat College Alumni, we believe it is time for the Leadership of Montreat College to overtly exhibit integrity and transparency as becoming to followers of Jesus Christ.
The Montreat College community now awaits their response!
From a Montreat College Alumni Facebook page.