March 6, 2007 Dear Dr. McClain:
Thanks for the invitation to meet with the officers of the Board of Trustees on Monday, March 26th at SWBTS, LDC. If this meeting occurs, the preferred times for me would be between 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, due to an extremely heavy travel schedule just prior to the March 26 date. I’m willing to be flexible with the time of the meeting (if it occurs) if another time better suits everyone else schedule. I would be delighted and honored to meet with the officers on the above date, time and place if the officers of the Board of Trustees are willing to meeting the following conditions:
- First, I need you to place in writing and forward to me the specific “concerns” that you would like to share with me by March 12, 2007. You mentioned that I have “possibly violated the policy manual of the seminary trustees (in particular, you may refer to pages 65 and 71 in the policy manual).” You must be specific and detailed about the possible violations of the policy manual. What exactly have I possibly violated? What is motivating you to raise these questions? What evidence or proof do you have of possible violations? I’m unaware of any violations. I’ve read pages 65 and 71 of the policy manual and don’t see where I’ve violated anything on either page. Therefore, I need you to state clearly and specifically in writing referencing these pages and the specific paragraphs or sentences that I’ve possibly violated. Or you may place in quotes the possible violations from pages 65 and 71 along with the information or documentation that leads you to believe that I have possibly violated the Policy Manual. Again, I need you to be specific and detailed regarding your concerns and to forward a list of the questions that you anticipate asking me on March 26. It is important that I have all information that I’ve requested here prior to March 12 – so that I can make sure that I’m prepared for the March 26 meeting. If you are unable to provide the information that I’ve requested in this email to my satisfaction prior to March 12, I will not attend the meeting. Please forward each trustee the response you provide to this email, because I want everything out in the open. I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO HIDE OR BE ASHAMED OF, SO PLEASE CIRCULATE ALL CORRESPONDENCE TO ME TO ALL OF THE TRUSTEES AND THE ADMINISTRATION. My love and support of SWBTS is well documented.
- Second, I must be allowed to invite fellow trustees and or other Southern Baptist pastors, or church members of my choice who may attend as neutral observers. Please extend an invitation to all trustees who may be interested in attending the March 26 possible meeting. I want it to be open to them whether or not they are interested in coming.
- Third, I must be allowed to record the entire meeting from the beginning to the end. I will bring someone from my staff to record the meeting. I plan to keep the tape recording of the meeting private unless and until something is said publicly that I believe misrepresents what was actually said and done in the meeting. Again, the recording will only be available to protect everyone involved. If there are no matters of dispute or misrepresentations, the recording will never be released publicly.
- Fourth, in response to your request to “discuss with you [me] the appropriate portion of the policy manual dealing with faculty hiring and tenure recommendation process,” I am puzzled. You make it crystal clear, “we will be discussing procedure and policy and not the particular case of Sheri Klouda.” If we are not going to be discussing the appropriate portion of the policy manual dealing with faculty hiring and the tenure recommendation process with regard to Sheri Klouda, I want to know why do you want me to come to a meeting to discuss this? I’m capable of reading and understanding the policy manual as it relates to these matters. I would have no interest in spending time discussing the issue of faculty hiring and tenure recommendation process unless it’s directly related to the Klouda case. I have plenty of questions about these matters in the context of the Klouda case, but I have no questions regarding these matters at this point separate from the Klouda case. Therefore, if this matter is in regard to Klouda, I’m willing to discuss it. If not, let’s skip it. If you choose to discuss this matter given the conditions I’ve set, I certainly would not record this part of our discussion and if you wanted the “neutral observers” to dismiss themselves during this part of the discussion, I would be in accord with that decision.
- Fifth, in the above referenced email you sent me in the fourth paragraph, you state “Third, it is right that trustees expect that the SWBTS administration follow established policies and the law, it is also right to expect that trustees themselves will follow established policies and the law. Article II, item number 12 of the SWBTS Bylaws states, ‘All matters of alleged trustee misconduct shall be considered in an appropriate manner, as prescribed by a majority of the elected trustee officers, within the trustee body’ (page 28).”
Please, specify in detail for me, what “established policies and the law” that you feel as if I’ve possibly violated. Please cite specifically the policy (reference page number and place in quotes) and the law that you think I might have violated. Please give me your rationale and supporting evidence for the possible violations of established policies and the law. Again, please be specific and detailed.Explain the significance of the page 28, policy manual quotation as it relates to any actions or inactions on my part so that I will be prepared to answer your alleged concerns. Finally, it is also my sincere prayer and hope that we could clarify issues and come to an understanding. I trust that we can work this out for the good of everybody involved and to the glory of God. Thanks for inviting me to the table to dialogue concerning these matters. Again, I am more than willing to come and share in this discussion if you’re willing to accommodate the above conditions.