To the Board of Trustees of Shimer College:
I am the parent of a current Shimer student. I have been astounded by how Shimer has transformed my son from an unfocused indifferent student to a passionate scholar who demonstrates excellent analytical thinking, rhetorical, and writing skills. Shimer has truly been a wonderful place for him.
I am writing because I have grave concerns about the current state of the college. I have become convinced that President Lindsay is not the right person to lead the college, and I just took the unprecedented action (for me) of signing a petition requesting his resignation. As I commented on the petition:
"I have served as a faculty member at a medium-sized private college and now at a large state university. In both places, I have worked on the self-study committees that prepare for accreditation visits. The Higher Learning Commission [HLC] that accredits Shimer College clearly states "Unless all [the college's] internal constituencies understand and support the fundamental mission, even the most beautifully crafted mission documents will fail to account for much." (Criterion 1c)."
The recent action led by President Lindsay and approved by a simple majority of the Board of Trustees indicates that neither the 18 approving members of the Board, nor President Lindsay himself, is mindful of this guidance from the HLC. To approve a mission statement against the expressed opposition of nearly all the faculty, many of the students, and almost 50% of the Board demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the criteria for a valid mission statement in higher education. While it is perhaps understandable that Board members might not be familiar with the criteria for ensuring continued accreditation, a college president should practically be able to recite the criteria in his or her sleep!
For me, this is the final straw in a stream of activities initiated by President Lindsay that show, at the very best, that he is NOT the right person to lead Shimer College. I urge you to relieve him of his position immediately.
Janna C. Roop, Ph.D.