They Conceal We Reveal

What’s new at New College? Same old: cronyism, secrecy, cover-up; they conceal, we reveal.

The only way to obtain public trust — especially in a crisis brought on by secrecy and cronyism — is to operate in the open. New College trustees have a website, an e-mail database, the ability to issue press releases, as well as access to KPFA and other media. They have been offered experienced outside help by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and they have been told in excruciating detail by WASC and the U.S. Department of Education how to become transparent, democratic, and accountable.

The trustees have not availed themselves of any of the above mechanisms to gain our trust — not one.

Assuming some humiliated trustees have had a change of heart, they nevertheless have yet to communicate in any way, shape, or form other than to announce Martin Hamilton’s resignation as president. Transparency is still a dream.

Given the school restructuring and presidential search committees are comprised of Hamilton cronies, and thus entirely undemocratic, that’s two strikes against them. The absence of any response to our demands for information about nepotism and financial misfeasance, as cited in the WASC reports, is strike three.

Since our alumni demands and requests for missing information require that these three principles be met in reality, not rhetoric, acting president Molina and the trustees as of today get a failing grade.

To summarize, New College today — six months since being warned it could be closed down — has no transparency, no democracy, no accountability. The current board is representative of nothing but an appointment by Peter Gabel, the misfit trust–funder spirituality guru.

We need democratic elections for the board of trustees before, not after, the so–called transition. Otherwise, instead of coming clean, it’s just a PR machine.

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~ by Jay Taber on August 17, 2007.

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