RMWC Financial Disclosure
Randolph-Macon Womans College Board of Trustees
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The Board has asserted that it has been transparent in its reasoning and process to adopt a Strategic Plan to sell critical assets of the College and make it co-educational. The Board has stated it must take these drastic actions because of the poor financial state of the institution. Yet, in a speech just eight months ago, former President Kathleen Gill Bowman stated, [W]e are not an institution in financial crisis. We have the financial resources and talent to sustain us for quite some time. The Board has also stated it has had an open decision making process and made clear its intentions to make the College co-educational. However, just last week, Dean William Coulter admitted, until about six weeks ago it seemed very remote and very unlikely that it would be recommended the College be made co-educational. This lack of transparency leads us to the conclusion that the Board may be attempting to conceal the true reasoning behind its decision.
The Boards fiscal history raises serious questions among alumnae and donors. President Bowman mentioned in her December 2005 speech that the endowment lost $52 million, an over 34\% drop, as a result of declining investments. (http://www.rmwc.edu/alumnae/news_detail.asp?nid=60) According to annual endowment surveys conducted by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the Board-managed endowment lost $52 million during a period when other, similar institutions saw a significant increase in their endowment returns. It appears the Board's failure to properly invest the endowment resulted in this loss of $52 million to the College.
In order to restore trust and provide confidence in the Boards ability to manage the future finances of the College, we request that the Board make available the following information by noon (12 p.m. EST) on Tuesday, September 5, 2006:
1) copies of all audits for the past seven (7) years;
2) copies of all minutes and agendas for Board meetings for the past three (3) years;
3) a list of all contracts that directly or indirectly benefit Board members, their families, or associates;
4) an accounting of investments that led to the loss of $52 million of the value of the endowment; and
5) all other financial documents used in the development of the Strategic Plan.
We appreciate your willingness to work with the alumnae and donor community on this issue and ask that you make this information available by posting it to the College web site or at a public location at the College. If the Board is unwilling to provide this information, it must, at the very least, delay the September 9, 2006, vote on the Strategic Plan until it has committed itself to a full and open disclosure of its ability to meet its financial responsibilities to the College.