PETITION TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF UNION
Dear Dr. White and Members of the Board of Trustees: We submit this appeal to the Board of Trustees out of deep concern for the actions President Serene Jones took in and subsequent to the summary dismissal of the Rev. Dionne Boissiere as Associate Director of Development and Alumni/Alumnae Relations. The only explanation that President Jones has provided for this “personnel action” is couched in a vague, convoluted rationale pointing to “legal restraints” that prohibit sharing details of the situation, while indicating that “the timing” of the Rev. Boissiere’s dismissal was an urgent, unavoidable necessity. This obfuscating scenario implies that the execution of this “personnel action” in such a humiliating, dehumanizing manner was also unavoidable – an implication that leaves plenty of room for innuendo, insinuation, and speculation that the “personnel action” was precipitated by a flagrant act of wrongdoing that moreover justified the Rev. Boissiere’s immediate termination and the manner in which it was carried out. In the course of these events, the Rev. Boissiere has been left without recourse, without the option of a hearing where her voice, her side of the story could be heard. This is a patently unfair, unjust situation, compounded by the fact that the Rev. Boissiere had generously and loyally contributed her gifts and professional skills to promoting Union’s professed mission in the world. This petition calls for the Board of Trustees of Union Theological Seminary to exercise faithfully its fiduciary obligation to Union; to the faculty; to students; and to alumni/alumnae by initiating, expeditiously, a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the termination of the Rev. Dionne Boissiere’s employment, along with the timing and manner with which it was executed. If you agree to this petition, please undertake the investigation as a truth-seeking inquiry, and do present publicly the results in a statement of fact that balances the institution’s need for privacy with concern for employees’ human and civil rights.