Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Deja Vu, All Over Again?

For those doubters out there who still refuse to see the writing on the wall, you need to read the following article published last year in the New Oxford Review. It details the same scorched earth policy in dismantling AMC that Mr. Monaghan is now using to try to take down AMSOL and move it down to Florida with all of the other entities he gives money to. Below the link to the article are excerpts that illustrate the lack of independence of the AMC board (which is again becoming evident in the AMSOL board), the questionable transfers of assets from one educational entity to another, and Mr. Monaghan's wish to run the very institution that he is supposedly "donating" to.

Tom Monaghan's Impending Educational Disaster
Big Bucks Aren't Enough
By Andrew Messaros, PhD

Board members have told me plainly that "We [the Board] are just here to help Tom spend his money," and "We all need to remember that this [AMC] is Tom's enterprise." One Board member said recently, "We just do what Tom asks, and Nick [Healy, President of AMU Florida] runs all the meetings [for AMC Michigan]." Thus, every Board member must weigh the independence and objectivity of his vote against the prospect of offending or standing against the institution's principle "donor," risking offense and possible withdrawal.
Is such an arrangement ethical? It's one thing to serve Monaghan's wishes and another to serve the established charter of the College, which is a moral and legal commitment to many parties, including the State of Michigan and the College's parents and students.
Can a donor require that his money serve his every whim after he bestows it?
In a recent Naples Daily News article, Nick Healy and Fr. Fessio defended Monaghan's decision to cash in AMC for the prospect of AMU.
But The Michigan Nonprofit Management Manual states that (emphasis added):
· Asset transfers to another organization are to occur as "the last transaction prior to dissolution," not when the organization to be dissolved is still trying to meet its obligations. That is, AMC Michigan cannot be a living organ donor to AMU Florida.
· The Boards of each organization "must independently determine that the merger is in the best interests of its clients and service recipients." Further, "board members who have ties to the organization" should "be excluded from the deliberations and from voting on the merger." Given the shared Board officers between AMC and AMU, any argument suggesting that the Boards are independent of each other is absurd.

· Services offered by the institution to be dissolved (AMC Michigan) cannot be "cut off abruptly or arbitrarily"; also, "staff members are treated with dignity." The recent wave of asset transfers, one-day dismissal notices, last-minute decisions, undisclosed Board resolutions, lack of adequate student/parent access to vital campus services (i.e., financial aid officers), and the rescinding of faculty contracts all violate this principle. The dignity of the entire College community was violated when Monaghan and his Board recently appointed an AMU Florida administrator as the new Provost of the Michigan College. It is scandalous that this individual is reported to be a twice-divorced Episcopalian. And this is Monaghan's chief academic officer at an institution seeking to renew orthodox Catholic higher education! The hypocrisy is evident, as AMU is advertising for a Vice President of Academic Affairs who "must be a practicing Catholic with proven fidelity to the full teachings of the Church."

From this same article, we find out that Mr. Monaghan tried to become the top administrator of one of the institutions he was funding before (and see how he finally got his wish as Chancellor of AMU in previous post):

The resolutions of AMC's Board cannot be interpreted as actions consistent with their fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of the Michigan institution and its stakeholders. It is reported that, at the most recent Board meeting, Monaghan even made a bid to assume the presidency of the Michigan College! According to The Wanderer (July 22), attorney John Kruse, a member of the AMC Board, was overheard in the hallway outside the conference room (by two people, one a reporter) as saying, "With all due respect, Tom, if you became president, it would be a major PR disaster." Why? Perhaps because Monaghan does not have a college degree, much less a Ph.D., and because he has no experience in educational administration.


At 12:47 PM, Blogger GenXsurvivor said...

There is talk that the founding AMSOL faculty are the next targets. If they have tenure, what can be done to them other than moving the school to Florida and letting them quit? I mean other than day-to-day unpleasantries.


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