Category Archives: Other Documents

Board of Trustees Review Committee Report

At its meeting on Saturday, May 12, 2012, the Pomona College Board of Trustees voted to accept as written the report from the Board subcommittee that reviewed the facts and circumstances of the February 2011 complaint and subsequent work authorization investigation. The Board also voted to distribute the report to the Pomona College community, along with the whistleblower and complaint response procedures approved by the Audit Committee on May 11, 2012. The Board is currently developing procedures for ensuring a smooth transition and “hand-off” of issues between committee chairs and between Board meetings.

To view the full Review Committee Report, please click on the following link:

Link to pdf

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ASPC Senate Resolution

Fellow Students,

In today’s meeting, the ASPC Senate approved the below resolution. I am also sending the resolution to the full Board of Trustees. Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.

Resolution of the Senate of the Associated Students of Pomona College

March 5, 2012

WHEREAS a complaint to the Chair of the Board of Trustees prompted an investigation into the work authorization papers of all college employees that led to the termination of seventeen employees; and

WHEREAS the process by which the Board of Trustees leadership dealt with the complaint and subsequent investigation is still unclear to students; and

WHEREAS the Board of Trustees is currently writing a report on the details of how the Board of Trustees leadership dealt with the complaint; and

WHEREAS students respect the need for whistleblower complaints to be kept anonymous;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate of the Associated Students of Pomona College, on behalf of the student body, calls on the Board of Trustees to release to the college community the internal report on the events surrounding the worker terminations as soon as it is completed. We call on the Board of Trustees to release the report in full, with the exception of details that identify the person who made the complaint.

Nathaniel Brown
ASPC President
Pomona College ’12
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Feldblum: Trustee-Student Task Force on Campus Community Communication Final Recommendations and Next Steps

Dear Students,

On behalf of the Trustee-Student Task Force on Campus Community Communication, we would like to share with you the six Task Force Recommendations, all of which were accepted – with revisions to the details of two of the recommendations – by the Board of Trustees Student Affairs Committee last Friday.   The six recommendations of the Task Force are as follows, and you can read the full Task Force report on the Dean of Students Sakai site:

1.       Enhance the Board of Trustees website to include information on how the Board works. Specifically, information about Board members, Committee rosters including information about the Trustee Committee Chair and Vice-Chair, and contact information for student representatives, contact information for the newly re-envisioned Student Affairs Committee and institutionalized communication channel.  Post agenda of Board of Trustee Committee meetings concurrent with mailing to trustees to allow students to triage their comments on any of these topics to student representatives on the respective committees. Post on the website soon after Board meetings the action items that were taken during the board meeting (in draft form if need be).  Post as appropriate links to reports or executive summaries from reports.

2.       Add students to specific Board Committees, including 1 additional student representative to the newly re-envisioned Student Affairs Committee, and 1 additional student to the Academic Affairs Committee, and add 2 student members to the Finance Committee (where there is currently no student member). This will increase the number of student slots on Board committees from 6 to 10.

3.       Re-engineer the Student Affairs Committee into the Student-Trustee “College Affairs” Committee, whose mission would be enhanced as a vehicle of communication between students and trustees and by including all the student representatives from the different Board committees.  The student Co-Chair would be the ASPC President and would work closely with the Trustee Chair and Dean of Students to advise on agenda items related to student life and general issues of communication with the student body.  The Trustee Chair would serve as the primary Trustee-Student liaison for the Board.

4.       Create opportunities for formal and informal dinners between small groups of students and trustees. Particular attention should be paid to setting up dinners during the year with members of the student leadership groups focused on community building on campus.  Opportunities for such interaction could include quarterly Board of Trustee Meetings and whenever trustees are on campus such as for Task Force meetings, etc.

5.       Institutionalize a visible channel of communication for students to give feedback throughout the year or provide comments regarding specific issues. This channel would be connected to the newly re-envisioned Student Affairs Committee. Create a process by which comment periods can be initiated to address issues.  Create an email alias as part of this institutionalized communication channel to which students would send comments or other feedback, and receive confirmation that their messages were received.

6.       Review these changes after a year to ascertain if they are effectively addressing the issues identified by the Task Force.

The full Board received the Task Force report, and approved a motion to support the additional student member positions on Board Committees as outlined in the Report so that the Trusteeship Committee can move forward with its work  of making recommendations for bylaw changes for the Board to consider, and  so that there could be spring elections for the 3 new positions.   Nate Brown will be sending out additional information regarding these new elected positions.

As always, if you have any questions about the revisions or other issues, please feel free to email me.  Or, you also can contact one of the students on the Task Force.

Sincerely,

Dean Feldblum

Members of Task Force:

Jason Rosenthal, Co-Chair, PO ‘92

Lynn Yonekura, Co-Chair, PO ‘70

Leslie Appleton, PO ‘12

John Bonacorsi, PO ‘12

Maya Booth, PO ‘14

Nate Brown, PO ‘12

Alice Chan PO ‘14

Miriam Feldblum, VP and Dean of Students

Kathy Lu, PO, ‘14

Meg Lodise, PO ‘85

Frank Sánchez, PO ‘13

Francine Scinto, P ’09, ‘11

Michael Segal, PO ‘79

Emi Young, PO ‘13

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Feldblum: Update from the Trustee-Student Task Force on Communication

Dear Students,

On behalf of the Trustee-Student Task Force on Campus Community Communications,  I am writing to give you an update on the work of the Task Force and open up a comment period for you to send in any feedback to the Task Force (please see below for a list of all Task Force members and the Charge of the Task Force).   All comments should be received by February 22, 2012

The Task Force has had 2 meetings, and is scheduled to have 2 more over this next week, February 19 and February 23.   Members have worked to collect information about Board communications, student-trustee interactions, and student representation on Boards from other campuses, and have explored a wide array of ideas. The two Co-Chairs of the Task Force are Jason Rosenthal, PO ‘92 and Lynn Yonekura PO ’70.  The Task Force anticipates presenting a set of recommendations to the Board of Trustees at the February Board of Trustees meeting.

The Task Force is currently exploring recommendations in four areas: Continue reading

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Board of Trustees: On the Student-Trustee Taskforce

January 17, 2012

To the Pomona College Students:

As Chair of the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, I want to express my gratitude to the students who met with us in December. Our conversation about the issues raised by the students who held the vigil—and more generally about ways in which we can improve communication between the Board and the students—was substantive and constructive. We were impressed by the students’ commitment and thoughtful approach, and we share their concern about these issues.

Among the topics we discussed were ways to incorporate more two-way communication during the annual Trustee-Student Retreat, how to facilitate the distribution of information about issues before the Board, and ways to increase student understanding of Board governance. In order to build on and follow through with the many helpful ideas that emerged from this meeting, the Board of Trustees has authorized the creation of a new ad hoc Trustee-Student Task Force on Student-Trustee Communication, to explore and recommend ways to improve communication and understanding between the Board of Trustees and Pomona students.

Specifically, the Task Force will review the ideas raised by the students and trustees during the meeting; explore campus communication mechanisms and other measures adopted by the other college and university boards to promote communication, responsiveness, and understanding between students and trustees; and develop a set of recommendations for the future.

We have already selected the student and trustee members of the Task Force, which will be co-chaired by Trustee Jason Rosenthal and myself. We anticipate that the group will meet over the next month and half and present a set of recommendations to the Board at its next meeting in spring 2012.

As you may know, in addition to meeting with students, selected trustees met separately with faculty members and dining staff, including some employees whose jobs were terminated. Both of these meetings were likewise substantive and constructive. In fact, the meeting with dining staff was profoundly moving for trustees as it gave them an opportunity to hear directly from people who lost their jobs after years of faithful service to the College.

In order to address the issues raised in these meetings, the Board of Trustees will be undertaking a review of their procedures for responding to complaints and authorized the creation of a subcommittee to conduct an internal review of the actions taken in this particular case. The Board will also be considering ways of establishing a regular line of communication between the Board and members of the staff.

In every meeting, there was a shared sense that the events of the past few months are the result of a national problem—the harshness of U.S. immigration laws. The trustees have committed to work together with the Administration to set up a forum in the near future that will allow us to focus as a community on better understanding these complex issues and ways we might work to make things better.

This has been a painful time for all of us, and our hearts go out to those who were affected by the events that sparked these conversations. Trustees have joined others in the College community in providing additional help to the affected families through a local non-profit. I am heartened by the fact that as a College family, we are able to come together, learn from each other and look for ways to move forward constructively.

Lynn Yonekura ’70

Chair of the Student Affairs Committee

Pomona College Board of Trustees

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Board of Trustees: Follow-Up to Campus Meetings

To:  The Pomona College Community

We want to thank everybody who met with us last week on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the work authorization issue.  All of us understood the human cost of the difficult actions we had to take and wish there was an alternative course of action we could have followed.

We received valuable feedback from the groups with whom we met regarding our procedures and external communications. We intend to offer suggestions on how to make improvements in these areas to help us better serve the College in the future.

We look forward to working with the community to make Pomona an even better institution.

Paul Efron, Board Chair

David Oxtoby, President

Jeanne Buckley, Trustee

Ranney Draper, Trustee Emeritus

Paul Eckstein, Trustee

Terry Hodel, Trustee

Meg Lodise, Trustee

Stewart Smith, Trustee

Jennifer Wilcox, Trustee

Lynn Yonekura, Trustee

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Alumni mobilize

Below is a letter sent out by several members of the Concerned Pomona Alumni group to the College administration:

We have been reading about the recent developments at Pomona College and are concerned about the College’s recent decisions, namely in regard to compliance with federal employment regulations. We were very disappointed to learn that the College is being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board following allegations of imposing illegal sanctions on dining hall workers. Specifically, we have read that one of our top chefs was denied promotion for wearing a union button and the College has a policy that prohibits dining hall workers from talking to students during meal times.

During our time at Pomona College there were also myriad issues surrounding the ability of dining hall workers to form a union and receive a fair wage for their hard work. Given the centrality of food service to our residential campus, we believe that it is especially important to quickly resolve this dispute. After all, these are the very individuals who greet, serve and clean up after students at each meal. They have worked very hard to make sure that we were taken care of, even during stressful times, such as final exam periods.

As an affluent college, with a rather large endowment, it behooves the College to compensate these workers at a fair rate. The fact that workers are still claiming to suffer from abuses and low wages after more than a decade strongly suggests that the College is not addressing the issue with proper urgency. Also, the fact that the federal government has filed a formal complaint against the College does not enhance its image to the public and possible future applicants. Rather, this issue may irreparably damage the College’s standing.

For these reasons, we suggest the formation of a student-faculty-alumni committee to investigate the workers’ claims and to identify amenable solutions for our workers who have given so much to the College. Now it is time to give back to them what they have rightly earned over so many years.

Yours truly,

Nicki Lisa Cole ’02, Audrey Hill ’02, Susan Koppelman ’01, Charles Cange ’02, Jimmie Ahimsa Luthuli ’02, Tiombe Jones, Attorney at Law ’02

Oxtoby: Response to Student Fast

To the Pomona College Community:

Many of you are aware that a group of four students began a fast on Wednesday evening. I have attached their statement of purpose to this e-mail. I wanted you to know that I have responded to their requests this morning. My letter is below. I hope that the students accept our proposal and end their fast immediately.

David Oxtoby

President

 

December 9, 2011

To Isabel, Will, Andrew, and Tracy,

Since I learned of your fast yesterday morning, I have forwarded your request and discussed it with members of the Board of Trustees. As I told them, I believe the proposed meeting between Board members and staff is a good idea on its own merits. It would complement other College efforts to ensure a full campus dialogue, including the scheduled meetings between Board members and students from ASPC and the Concerned Students vigil, and between Board members and a group of Pomona faculty.

For these reasons, and in order to respond constructively to your request, we propose the following agreement in return for an immediate end to your fast.

We propose a meeting next Wednesday at 10 a.m. between a small group of Trustees and any Dining Service employees who wish to take part, including former employees who were terminated on December 2. The goal of the meeting would be for the Trustees to hear directly from the staff and report back to the larger Board and the administration. Spanish translation would, of course, be provided. We would depend upon you to contact the terminated workers to invite them to participate, if they wish to do so.

Barring objections from the employees, we would agree to permit the four of you to be present to observe and offer quiet support to the employees, but not to participate in the discussions. We believe that any recording of the discussions could inhibit free and open speech and, therefore, we do not agree to this part of your request. However, we agree that openness and transparency are essential, so we are prepared, unless the employees object, to invite an editor from The Student Life to attend and report back on the meeting to the Pomona community. We would schedule the meeting in a neutral campus location, such as Rose Hills Theatre. Due to other time constraints on the Board, it could last no longer than one hour.

To help ensure that all parts of our community feel valued and heard, we believe that this meeting can play a significant role. We remain open to any proposal that might help the community move forward in a constructive dialog, but would like to stress that such extreme actions as putting one’s health in jeopardy are not necessary to ensure that we are listening and will give such proposals careful consideration.

We are all concerned about your health and welfare and respectful of your commitment. I hope you will agree to this proposal so that we can continue to move forward. Please give me your answer as soon as possible, so that we can continue with our planning.

Sincerely,

David Oxtoby

President of Pomona College

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Further Questions of Legality

Michael Teter, a Pomona alum and former visiting Professor of Politics, follows up with his November 30 letter to the Board of Trustees.

December 5, 2011

Board of Trustees
Pomona College
550 N College Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711

Dear Pomona College Board of Trustees:

Last Thursday, I sent a letter to the Pomona College Board of Trustees that focused on the College’s work status verification of many employees. The letter was published in The Student Life, and I have since received many responses—almost uniformly supportive. But there have also been some important critiques of the letter. I want to first express my admiration for those who have taken the time to engage in a thoughtful dialogue on the issue, especially Ashvin Gandhi (’13) who made a number of valuable points that deserve attention. Those who approach such difficult questions in a constructive, honest, and sincere way serve Pomona well. But I do want to respond to the explicit criticisms leveled against my position, as well as to the implicit ones that underlie the Administration’s decision to go forward with its misguided approach.

Continue reading

Feldblum: Public Announcement of Arrests and Civil Disobedience

Dear Students,

I want to share with you what we know about the events that took place on campus this morning.

A group of about 125 to 150 protestors, including some students and alumni from Pomona and other colleges and representatives of UNITE-HERE, conducted a demonstration and sit-in after breakfast this morning in Frary Dining Hall. They were permitted to take over the dining hall and the servery, but for health and safety reasons, they were not permitted to enter the kitchen areas, where College employees were at work. The organizers stated that their intention was to have 17 of their number arrested by Claremont Police, but College officials declined to have them arrested so long as they were peaceful.

The protestors then moved to Alexander Hall, where they resumed their protest, continuing their stated intention of being arrested. Around 11:30 this morning, as a result of a negotiation between the protestors and the police, CPD arrested 17 protestors for blocking College Avenue.

Frary was closed as a safety precaution as a result of the demonstration. We will give you an update as soon as possible as to when it will reopen. We know that these events can be distressing to members of our community, and I will try to share with you more information as it becomes available.

The College is committed to respecting the rights of, and supporting, those who wish to protest as well as those who do not wish to take part.

Sincerely,

Dean Feldblum

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