ELECT NEW MEMBERS TO SOFIA BOARD BY 1/31/14!
We, the members of the Sofia/ITP community, are heartened by your statement at the BOT meeting on 1/24/14 declaring your willingness to work together by holding an ad hoc meeting to reconstitute a Board of Trustees this week, if we could provide qualified and willing candidates, which we were able to do!
OBSTACLES AVERTED. We confirmed that WASC does not intend to help vet new board members. Also, the Attorney General of California has confirmed that no lawsuits are pending against Sofia University. Therefore, two anticipated problems are no longer problems.
THE CANDIDATES. We have been able to find willing and seasoned candidates, many of whom have previously served on the Board: 1. Manuel Herrera, 2. Loic Jassy, 3. A. Scott McCulloch, 4. Dennis Prone, and 5. Conchita Serri.
OUR CALL! We call for these two actions: 1. The Board Composition Task Force will meet Thursday 1/30/14 to vet student and alumni candidates; and 2. The BOT will vote by Friday 1/31/14 at 9pm to elect former board members presented by the community and vetted candidates by the Board Composition Task Force.
THANKS AND HOPE FOR COOPERATION. We sincerely hope that together we can best serve our school to ensure its independence, mission, and integrity.
The ITP/Sofia Community
FULL VERSION OF LETTER TO FRANK ELLSWORTH AND THE SOFIA UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Dear Dr. Frank Ellsworth, Mr. Hesel, Mr. Cha, and Mr. Ringgenberg:
Last week at the Sofia University Board of Trustees meeting, we, the ITP/Sofia community, were encouraged by your commitment to hold an ad hoc board meeting to reconstitute the board this week, if we, as a community, could find willing and qualified candidates (and that they were granted WASC's agreement). We are happy to announce that we have found seasoned qualified candidates, including returning ITP board members! One of whom was a former co-chair of the board.
Many of us, particularly those on the various committees and task force groups, appreciated your willingness and generosity in holding an open board meeting. While the meeting was contentious at times, your actions showed a willingness to engage the community. In accordance with the spirit and values of our school, and recognizing the wealth of knowledge, experience, wisdom, and skill you all bring to the table, we wish to forge a collaborative relationship with you. Rather than fight you, we want to work with you to help heal our school and community.
Our goal is to maintain ITP/ Sofia’s independence as a non-profit and unique institution that offers an opportunity for transformative experiences while maintaining high academic standards and a high-quality educational experience. We believe we can meet these goals without merging or affiliating with another institution.
Good news! We confirmed that WASC does not intend to help vet new board members. After speaking with qualified experts, it appears that it would be atypical for WASC to participate in vetting board members presented for consideration. Therefore, it would seem that you are thereby free to review and approve the qualified board members we will be presenting.
Also, we clarified with the Attorney General that the letter that Dr. Robert Frager sent is only a Letter Of Demand, and not a lawsuit, and that there are no pending lawsuits. In addition, all board candidates are aware of the school's financial and legal situation, and are willing to serve nevertheless.
Given that there are apparently no further obstacles to prevent you and the board from considering our board slate candidates, you no doubt will be pleased to know that several of the candidates not only are highly qualified, seasoned professionals but also are returning members of previous ITP boards. Best of all, they are willing to join the board immediately and collaborate with you in rebuilding this beloved institution!
We, the ITP/Sofia community, find the following candidates to be acceptable and prioritize constituting more qualified members of the board now, in lieu of a lengthier process. We understand from Frank that former members of the board can be presented immediately to the board for immediate approval.
We have determined that the following candidates meet the criteria laid out by the Board Composition Task Force. We as a community put out a call for candidates, and community members discovered the candidates listed below. These candidates are all willing to join the board immediately. In addition to those listed below, on Wednesday evening we will present to the Board Composition Task Force a list and CVs of 2 students and 2 alumni to be vetted at their Thursday meeting.
Previous Board Members Ready to Serve on Board and to be Presented to Board of Trustees on Friday, January 31, 2014
J. Manuel Herrera
Loic Jassy, PhD
A. Scott McCulloch, PhD, MBA
Dennis Prone, served on the board at ITP for 2 years and was president of the student body
Conchita Serri, JD, EdM, former co-chair of the Board of Trustees
Our Call! Ad Hoc Board Meeting by Friday, January 31st, at 9pm! (Extraordinary Session if Needed)
We were thrilled to hear your unanimous commitment, at the board meeting on Friday, January 24th, to hold an ad hoc meeting to vote on qualified and willing candidates to join the board. Also, hundreds of constituents who observed your commitment over livestream appear to be equally delighted. Now we call upon you to convene and follow through on the promise you made to us last Friday:
We call upon the Board Composition Task Force to meet this Thursday, January 30th, 2014, to vet a list of alumni and student candidates that will be presented Wednesday night, January 29th, 2014.
We call upon the Board of Trustees to convene by this Friday, January 31st, 2014, at 9pm, to vote on qualified and vetted previous board members who are listed above, by extraordinary session if necessary.
Benefits of New Board
We, the ITP/Sofia community, will feel empowered and inspired to move forward when we see new, community-vetted board members by this Friday at 9pm. In order to return ITP/Sofia to a robust, successful, financially-solvent educational institution, we must have a board that embodies our core transpersonal values and is committed to the long-term financial solvency of the school. We know that you are looking for help in ensuring the wellbeing of our school. You can expect that with a board repopulated with qualified and willing candidates, we will actively participate with you to rebuild our school and will offer our full support, including financial support.
Working Together as a Community
If we can all work together for the best interest of the school, for its mission, and for its integrity, by avoiding a merger/affiliation/acquisition while maintaining non-profit status, then we believe that this will work out for all of the parties involved.
We recognize and honor the breadth of experience, knowledge, and wisdom embodied by you, Frank, and the board members. With your knowledge and skill in conjunction with the passion and vision of the ITP/Sofia community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, we are confident that we all can turn this school around. Together, we can repair the damage wrought by mismanagement from administrations past. We can draw from the wisdom, expertise, and determination of this whole community.
With your help, we can do something that has not been done before and become the benchmark for a unique and transformative educational experience rooted in high standards of academics, educational and financial integrity, while embodying the transpersonal vision of making this world a better place.
Sincerely,Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni, and Friends of the ITP/Sofia Community