posted on July 22, 2013 11:37
The powers-that-be at William Peace University need to learn the basic lesson of leadership: If you want people to trust you, you better tell them the truth.
Instead, three years of secrecy and closed-door decisions are putting the school’s future at risk.
Full disclosure: My PR partner Joyce Fitzpatrick and I have counseled alumnae and friends concerned about what is happening at Peace. So I’m biased. And pretty well-informed.
Jane Stancill’s article in the N&O summed up what the WPU leadership has achieved: “The university’s recent decision to invest nearly two-thirds of its $33 million endowment to acquire the Seaboard Station retail center has further enraged some donors and alumnae who see a secretive and power-hungry new administration intent on changing everything about the former women’s college and risking its financial future.”
Change is always hard. And sometimes necessary. But you can’t make big changes – like abruptly going coed without public discussion – without expecting this kind of reaction. You can’t treat faculty, staff, alumnae and friends like mushrooms without them rebelling.
Worst of all, the administration has even refused to release the names of its trustees. Which makes a mockery of “trust.”
In the end, as Joyce says, “truth will out.”
As a former member of Peace’s board of visitors said in the N&O: “…if you don’t have anything to hide, why are you hiding?”