At the 2019 General Synod Meeting of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, delegates voted June 13 to reinstate the president of the Erskine Alumni Association as a member of the Erskine Board of Trustees.
Executive Director for Alumni Relations Paul Bell, a 1984 graduate of Erskine College, said the Synod’s action was based on the report of the Board of Trustees to the General Synod. “We recognize the necessity of a vibrant Alumni Association in the life of the college,” the trustees said in their report.
Bell said, “The Board of Trustees made only two recommendations: first, that Synod reinstate the Alumni Association President’s position as an advisory, non-voting member of the Board of Trustees; and second, that in the interest of consistency with all other boards of the church, and in compliance with SACS, Synod make the Moderator’s position on the Board of Trustees an advisory, non-voting member.”
The recommendations put forward by the Erskine trustees, led by Board Chairman Jill Gazzaway, came out of a joint committee of the Board of Trustees and the Erskine Alumni Association Board of Directors following Synod’s decision to remove the Alumni Association president from the Board of Trustees in June 2018, Bell said.
“The 2018 decision from Synod was a major setback for Erskine in terms of alumni relations. This new development represents a significant step forward,” he said.
“While it doesn’t provide a direct vote for the Alumni Association, it does provide a voice and a ‘seat at the table,’ and the association board is pleased to regain that seat. This is a model commonly found among colleges and universities.”
Bell expressed gratitude for the work of both trustees and alumni. “The Alumni Association Board appreciates the opportunity to work with the Board of Trustees on this issue.”
The General Synod convened this year on the campus of Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.