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President's Message | Archive

October 10, 2005

TO: Campus Community
FROM: Cornelius Kerwin, Acting President
SUBJECT: Board of Trustees Meeting Summary, Monday, October 10


  This evening, Monday, October 10, the Board of Trustees Vice Chair Thomas A.Gottschalk released the following statement:


“The Board of Trustees of American University decided today that President Benjamin Ladner will not return to American University as its president. Until a search has been conducted and a new president has been selected, Dr. Neil Kerwin will continue to serve as acting president of the university.


The Board of Trustees further agreed to adopt the findings of its Audit Committee and authorized the university to report additional taxable income for Dr. Ladner for the years 2002-2005 and to seek reimbursement for certain personal expenses.


The board expressed gratitude for the accomplishments of American University during Dr. Ladner’s tenure and for his service as president for the past eleven years.


The board also appointed three trustee committees. The first committee is a Search Process Committee established to meet with university constituencies and recommend an inclusive process to be followed in the search for a new president.


The second committee is a Board Chair Nominating Committee established to consider candidates to succeed Leslie Bains as chair of the board.


The third committee is a Board Governance Committee established to examine and recommend improvements in the board’s governance processes going forward. We look forward to working with alumni, students, deans, faculty, staff, and others as the university moves forward.”


With the board decision on the presidency having been made, the American University community will move on with renewed commitment and focus on our education mission. The way that our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends responded to these issues between the board and the president proved that our values are intact, principles are strong, and campus voices are heard on matters of significance.


I thank the AU community for the dignified and effective way that you responded.


The recent events also have prompted close scrutiny of American University. A theme repeated again and again in news media reports was that AU has reached new levels of achievement. These new levels of excellence result from the efforts and dedication of many people who have been or are part of this great university. That work and the resultant progress will continue, unfettered.


The university leadership, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees will continue to dedicate themselves to our important mission of education and service. I will communicate with the AU community soon and provide additional details as they become available.


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