News Articles

Meredith College board votes to become self?perpetuating

RALEIGH, N.C. (BP)–Trustees of Meredith College have voted to make their board self-perpetuating beginning in 1998, increasing the number of board-selected trustees by 25 percent each year until the change is completed in 2001.

Presently the 36 trustees of the 2,500-student women’s college are elected by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina in annual session upon recommendation of the convention’s nominating committee.

Under a plan approved by messengers at the 1992 state convention, agencies and institutions may elect their own trustees and have a proportionate reduction of funding from the state body.

In a prepared statement issued after their Feb. 14 meeting in Raleigh, where the campus is located, trustees stated, “… as institutions of shared Baptist heritage, the Convention and Meredith have long shared a harmonious relationship. We anticipate this will not change.” The trustees’ statement also said, “Meredith has been a Baptist college for 106 years. We will continue to be a Baptist college in the same way we have been for more than a century. Under our revised bylaws, the majority of our trustees will continue to be members of Baptist churches, and the majority of our trustees will continue to reside in North Carolina.”

North Carolina Baptists’ 1997 budget allocates about $1 million to Meredith College, which the trustee statement said represents approximately 4 percent of the institution’s annual operating budget.

The trustees additionally said their action does not alter Meredith’s mission. “The decision by the trustees to establish a self-perpetuating board actually strengthens our ability to fulfill our mission by ensuring our independence and identity,” the statement said.

“Meredith was founded on, and remains committed to, the principle of preparing women to lead in, and contribute to, society. This position regarding the role of women as leaders is becoming increasingly incompatible with that of some groups within the Convention.”

Trustees approved a budget for the college for the next fiscal year which will reflect the loss of income from the convention but guarantees “the continuation (or operating) budget and the expansion budget for new initiatives. The continuation budget sustains the current level of operations (salaries, utilities, services, et cetera) to serve the anticipated enrollment. The expansion budget is the product of the Initiative 2000 strategic planning effort, which will position Meredith for success in the 21st century,” the trustees said.

Letters of notification of the trustee action were sent Feb. 17 to the appropriate leaders of the Baptist state convention. As a result of the trustee action, Meredith College will not be sending recommendations to the convention’s nominating committee this year.

    About the Author

  • Staff