Tags: pr flack joe bast

Information sources in the current crisis

The situation that faces Shimer in early 2010 can be approximately summarized as follows:

Shimer College currently faces a grave threat to its independence and academic freedom. This threat dates to 2007 and stems from a previously anonymous donor, activist Barre Seid, working in concert 1954 Shimer alum Patrick Parker. Together they have covertly garnered undue influence over the Shimer board. In 2008, failing to disclose their financial ties, Seid employees John Marienau and Chuck Lang joined the board, along with Seid grantee and PR flack Joe Bast. In 2009, under Seid's financial pressure, the board hired preferred Parker/Seid candidate Thomas Lindsay to the office of the president over three preferred candidates. President Lindsay began bypassing official Shimer College hiring and firing procedures and reshaping the admissions and development offices based on what appear to be political criteria. In 2009, still failing to disclose financial ties, thirteen further trustees with ties to Seid were added to the board for the sole purpose of garnering Seid/Parker a majority vote. To preserve this majority vote and change the school's mission, six qualified nominees to the board, all Shimer alums, have since been tabled by Parker/Seid. There have now followed threats to oust the original faculty, staff and board. Faculty contracts end June 15 2010 and a curriculum review is pending. The faculty, students and alumni of Shimer College stand united against the Parker/Seid president and the Parker/Seid half of the Board.
Specific requests for help will be forthcoming shortly.

You can stay relatively up to date on Shimer events by following one or more of these blogs: 
Shimer College and the Future (still going strong!)
Shimer Student Alliance
Shimer Alumni Alliance Blog

Also, if you tweet, please join the conversation on Twitter at #shimercollege.