Petition for Removal of Charles A. McGeorge
In 1928, Milton Grafly Baker founded the Valley Forge Military Academy. He had a dream of founding a military prep school for the education and training of young men for leadership roles in their chosen fields. Everything that is Valley Forge should be a reflection of General Baker's basics and a tribute to his vision and indomitable spirit. He was a leader of imagination, drive and energy, whose high standards demanded the best from everyone. We the undersigned find, 81 years after the founding, that the current governing authority of VFMAC (in this case, the President, operating under the guidance and oversight of the Board of Trustees) has been derelict in his duties as custodian for the Academy and has caused grievous and all but irreparable harm to our school. After his arrival in Wayne Hall in 2004, and lacking adequate guidance and direction as to the nature of Valley Forge from the Board of Trustees, Mr. McGeorge embarked upon an aggressive campaign to eliminate or change virtually everything good and traditional about VFMAC, much to the detriment of the Corps of Cadets, the school and its reputation, along with its stature, and its ability to recruit, retain, and educate young men in the Valley Forge tradition. It has been noted and substantiated by significant numbers of alumni, parents, cadets (and even those persons who are not directly connected with the school) that there has been a wide-ranging abandonment of any semblance of military bearing, discipline, order, decorum, tradition, and standards by the current administration. This blatant departure from the vision of the school's founder has been in large part due to the faulty vision of the school's current president, who has taken it upon himself to change the nature and direction of the school through demilitarization to give cadets more free time,to depart from admission standards regarding character (the admission of cadets); to reduce the opportunities for spiritual development;canceled vespers services); and who has harmed the status and morale of the Corps by failing to support the cadet chain of command in matters of their responsibility to keep good order and discipline throughout the Corps of Cadets. In accordance with this ongoing situation, the parents, alumni, and even exemplary cadets have requested, petitioned, and at times demanded of the school that these allegations be answered to their collective satisfaction. This administration and the Board of Trustees have repeatedly denied, ignored, and dismissed these requests without any reasoned explanations or defensible answers. Both the Trustees and this administration have fought against concerned parents, threatened free speech, banned concerned alumni from the school by declaring them persona non grata, threatened lawsuits against individual alumni, issued warning letters to Internet discussion groups to cease and desist, and have left the cadet leadership to deal with serious matters of cadet discipline alone, without the support of administrative backing, intervention, and the enforcement of standards of behavior or adherence to regulations. By these failures and others not articulated here, this administration has demonstrated a preeminent prejudice to the keeping of good order and discipline that has precipitated blatant lawlessness among members of the Corps of Cadets. It is for these failures to adequately address shortcomings in leadership, and the failure to engage in meaningful dialogue with its stakeholders, and various other reasons, that have made it imperative that the legally responsible Trustees and this administration should be held to public scrutiny and made accountable for their actions as well as their inactions. The gross lack of transparency and accountability on the part of the administration and the Board of Trustees indicates that they have collectively violated the trust placed in them by parents, cadets, alumni and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is this lack of transparent accountability that has in part been the catalyst for the declining enrollments, the huge rate of attrition, lack of effective recruiting, and the lack of financial support for the school. The resignation and dismissal of over 160 staff and faculty members, the absence of a venue for the redress of grievances for staff, cadet, parent or alumnus, and their accumulated frustrations is now and has been a factor in why the school is failing to retain returning students and qualified faculty, or to receive the desperately needed financial support of the alumni. For these reasons, as well as any number of other unstated related issues, we ask that you call for the resignation of Mr. Charles A. McGeorge, President, and for the responsible members of the Board to tend to their sworn duties and responsibilities to the school by beginning a search for a qualified replacement. Trustees who are unable or unwilling to recognize and meet this responsibility of vigilant accountability and meticulous oversight should be asked to resign as well. We request that the positions of President and Superintendent revert back to a single position known as Superintendent, which will require a candidate with a solid background of military service, credentialed in education, and who possesses a proven record of successful management abilities to lead the school. We believe that the current malaise and the air of distrust, hostility and confrontation between the administration and the alumni can only be cleansed by a new administrative leadership and a new era of effective Trustee guidance and oversight as required under law by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information concerning statements in this petition, please visit our website at www.valleyforgeoldguard.org and click on the Petition for Removal tab at the top. To this end I have affixed my signature below.