If you’d like to write to the Vermont Attorney General protesting the proposed merger with Emerson College but don’t know what to say, read on.
It’s intuitive to think a letter to the Attorney General should reference legal statutes and the like, which is a fine approach, if you’re a lawyer.
For everyone else, reach back into your memory and capture what Marlboro meant for you. In December, many of you wrote letters to the Board of Trustees expressing your dissatisfaction with the merger proposal. With or without a few tweaks, those letters will probably suffice.
If you’re starting from scratch, you might approach your letter with the following questions in mind:
Is the institution proposing to depart from its fundamental mission to provide a unique form of education that’s not available in any comparable institutions?
Do you feel that Marlboro College is needed?
Does the Attorney General realize how many offers of help the current leadership has turned down? Did you offer something in particular? Tell him about it.
Do you feel the current leadership explored every avenue to remain independent?
Do you feel that that current leadership has conducted itself honorably and transparently?
Has Marlboro College returned your endowment donations when requested to do so?
Do you feel that intimidation, shame and attacks have been the response of choice, instead of hard and fast detailed information?
Do you feel that the current leadership ignored the request of 1100 petitioners who wanted a second opinion on the choice of merger?
Do you question why the faculty on the original task force were appointed by the President and not elected by their peers?
Do you feel the current leadership communicated the financial problems in an honorable and timely way to the body of alumni and broader community members?
Do you feel that the current leadership leaned heavily upon the consultants from EY Parthenon, a division of the global accounting firm Ernst and Young, on how to proceed, irrespective of other considerations?
There is no need to limit your letter for the sake of brevity; this is not the time to hold back.
Share this with those you know who are not online. Handwritten letters play a very important role too. The Attorney General’s office is one with resources; a high percentage of the letters will be read. Keep in mind that the Vermont Attorney General is an elected position influenced by the vocal public interest of Vermont, with an election pending this fall – that means your voice counts.
Do not expect a reply. Do expect that your letter will become a public document.
While emotions have been running high for months, your letter to the Attorney General isn’t the place to air invectives toward individuals or to extend personal judgments of character. If you can, draw the line with phrases no stronger than incompetent, or grossly negligent or doing the wrong thing.
The Attorney General has the right to seek dissolution of the Board of Trustees if the Corporation has committed fraud, if the Board has exceeded or is abusing power, if the assets are being misapplied or wasted and/or if the Board can’t carry out business anymore. We are calling for independent and varied voices. Let us weave these voices into a quilt that shows why Marlboro College matters to you, to Vermont, to the region, to the world. Whether you’re an alumni, a parent of an alumni, a current student, or part of the greater Marlboro College community, we all have a thread of this story to share. Join us in asking the Attorney General to stand up for the institution in a way the current leadership is not.
Where to send your letter:
Vermont Attorney General’s Office TJ Donovan
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609
Phone (802) 828-3171
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Contact Form Anything you submit to the Attorney General’s Office may be subject to disclosure under Vermont’s Public Records Act.