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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

SIS council info

School of International Service Faculty Council

Resolution passed by a special meeting of the SIS Council, October 25, 2005
Resolution passed by a vote of 34-0

The SIS Council:
*Calls upon the Board of Trustees (BOT) to rescind the settlement or recover the funds,
*Expresses no confidence in the BOT,
*Calls for the resignation of the current Board of Trustees,
*Supports efforts of members of the AU Community to seek an injunction against the Board of Trustees to prevent it from moving forward with the settlement,
*Supports efforts to reconstitute the governance policies of the University



Having Resolved:

1. The School of International Service Council condemns in the strongest of terms the settlement reached between the American University Board of Trustees and Benjamin Ladner. American University should spend money only to support the educational mission for which the University was founded. Rewarding Benjamin Ladner for his malfeasance is contrary to our mission,moral values and standards. The American University Board of Trustees should rescind immediately any offer of severance and dismiss Benjamin Ladner for cause.

2. Members of the Board of Trustees who bear responsibility for the drafting and flawed execution of Benjamin Ladner's 1997 contract, lapses in auditing, and the October 24 settlement should resign from the Board because they have clearly demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the mission, standards, traditions and values of American University. They have also failed as fiduciary stewards of American University.

3. The flawed decisions and processes of American University's Board of Trustees underscore the necessity of undertaking a thoroughgoing reform of Board governance. The goal of the reform should be the adoption of twenty-first century governance practices that embrace transparency, accountability and participation. As part of the reform process, the University should carry out a best-practices study of outstanding North American universities.

4. Before embarking on a search for a new permanent president, American University must put its house in order. Specifically:

- A new governance structure for the Board of Trustees that reflects the
will of those who study and work at American University must be developed
and implemented. Only a reformed Board of Trustees would have sufficient
confidence of the faculty and staff to undertake a presidential search
successfully.

- A new compensation procedure for the University president and vice-presidents must be introduced that ensures that University officers are compensated consistent with market rates found at peer institutions.

- A transparent, rigorous and regular auditing system must be developed and
adopted.

- The University must adopt full transparency in the process and contents of
budgeting.

- The University executive must be pared down to its essential mission of
managing the University. All programs and positions that do not contribute
directly to that mission should either be eliminated or transferred into the
most appropriate teaching unit.

The acting University president should be tasked with achieving these
objectives over the course of the 2005-2006 academic year. The University
can then proceed in the fall of 2006 on a sound footing with a search for a
new permanent president.”

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