Board of Trustees holds open forum about financial state

Board+of+Trustees+members+discuss+Marywood%27s+financial+state+at+open+forums.

Photo credit/ Kyle Clouse

Board of Trustees members discuss Marywood's financial state at open forums.

Rachel Looker, Asst. News Editor

Members of Marywood’s Board of Trustees held three open forums to discuss recent issues relating to Marywood’s financial state.

The forums were held on Wednesday, March 30, in the Latour Room in Nazareth Student Center and were led by Mary Ellen McDonough, vice chair of the Board, Dick Kane, member of the Board, and James Gavin, treasurer of the Board.

The three sessions included the same information, but were held at different times to be more accessible for faculty and staff.

Each forum consisted of a 30-minute presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

According to Kane, the purpose of the forums were to dispel any rumors and “be as transparent as possible” with Marywood faculty and staff.

Kane said it was a “very good meeting.”

“There are some challenges,” said Kane. “We have a plan and are working through it.”

Callie Frieler, director of student activities and leadership development, attended one of the sessions and said the main topics of the forum included the financial state of the institution and the recent decisions that have been made relating to these financial issues.

Frieler said the board members told attendees they are actively seeking solutions to these financial problems, but are still in the beginning stages.

“I felt the session was helpful,” said Frieler. “[The trustees] really stressed that they are trying hard to create an environment with increased communication, and this is why these sessions were being held.”

Melinda Krokus, assistant professor of religious studies, attended a session and said she was glad the board was taking accountability for some of these recent issues.

“[It’s] good to hear accountability on their part for bad decisions that have gotten [us] into financial predicaments,” said Krokus.

According to Krokus, members of the University have been trying to draw attention to these issues for a few years, but said the issues weren’t being heard. Krokus said this led to the votes of no confidence, which she said is never ideal.

Krokus said the Board members said during the forum it is time to develop trust and create a Marywood family.

“I’m not feeling that [the sense that Marywood is a family] from the Board,” said Krokus.

Krokus said she asked board members for a “concrete plan” to fix these financial challenges, but received no real response.

However, Krokus remains positive about the board members being accountable.

“I’m hopeful about it, we have to go forward,” said Krokus. “They had accountability, which was the most important thing to hear.”

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Twitter: @RLookerTWW

Correction: This article was updated on April 4, 2016 to add clarity to a quote from Dr. Melinda Krokus.