President Harrison’s letter to President Meyer.

Thanks to BJS reader “A Vicar” for sending this to us for posting. This is in reaction to the “consternation” regarding the publicity of President Meyer’s email to students and staff posted here.


Email from President Dale Meyer:

Last Tuesday President Harrison e-mailed a letter to our Board of Regents. This afternoon he asked that I share it with faculty, staff and students, which I am herewith doing. The letter is attached.

Dale A. Meyer



April 19,2011
Tuesday of Holy Week, A.D. 2011

Dear Regents of Concordia Seminary,

Grace and peace.

Earlier today (4/18), I phoned Dale Meyer to apologize for the consternation regarding the elimination of the student advisor on personal growth and leadership development position at Concordia Seminary. Per protocol, and following HR directive, I phoned Dale last Friday to inform him of this action. Dale was unavailable and so I spoke to Andy Bacon. In that conversation I apologized for having to take the action with respect to the funding of this position. As I explained to Andy, this action is driven simply by revenues. We are informed by the Synod’s treasurer and accountant that we face a nearly $5,000,000 reduction in undesignated funding this year. That’s a 25% reduction from the previous fiscal year. But the situation is more challenging than it appears. The Synod’s unrestricted dollars have to cover fixed costs (like insurance, legal, services, etc., etc., including over $2.6 million per year to service the historic CUS debt). That means a far greater reduction than 25% for those areas which are discretionary (i.e., personnel).

Funding decisions from prior years, which were well-intended but did not force reductions in expenditures, have caught up with us. We do not have $2.4 million from the sale of KFUO this year to balance the budget. We have received more than $1 million less in pledges from districts this year. And on top of all this, after a net elimination of nearly 40 positions, we still shall have not sufficiently reduced costs to operate at a balanced budget. Enough of the palinode.

Dale understands all this. Let me state that I take full responsibility for failing to give Dale the “heads up” on this position elimination. It was a failure of collegiality and Christian charity. And I have apologized personally to Dale for this error in judgment. Second, I will do what I can to see that the individual affected is treated as well as possible. Third, we will work with the seminary as best we can to find a way to cover the duties of a student advisor on personal growth and leadership development.

My staff has done a superb job in an enormously tumultuous time. I plead your patience with them, and especially with me.

Yours humbly in Christ,

Rev. Matthew Harrison, President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


President Harrison’s letter to President Meyer. — 16 Comments

  1. Sounds just like the admirable man who last July said, “I guarantee you I will sin and fail. I will fall short. I will sin against you. I wish also to say right now that I forgive all who have in any way sinned against me or anybody else and plead your forgiveness for anything I said or did that offended you… I promise you that I will be as straight with you as I possibly can to the best of my ability guided by the Spirit of God.”

    I didn’t think I could respect him more than I did after that speech. How he is handling President Meyer’s email shows President Harrison to be a man of integrity. My respect is growing. May we continue to pray for him as he manages the difficult situations in which the synod has appointed him president.

  2. Thank you, President Harrison, for your example to us all. My prayers are with us all in our Synod.

  3. OK, President Harrison may have blown it.
    Looks like Andy Bacon blew it, too.

    I believe President Harrison explained more than he had to, but, OK, let it pass.

    BUT–you still play by the rules in the “corporate world”, even the LCMS corporation. Let me explain:

    I can make the case that Pres. Harrison should have not assumed that Bacon would carry the message to Dr. Meyer. And I can make the case that Pres. Harrison should have made every effort to talk to Dr. Meyer until he had indeed contacted him personally. I can make the case that Bacon should not have been told unless Meyer had been told. I can make the case that Pres. Harrison owed Dr. Meyer an apology (it could have been private).

    BUT–you play by the rules–Dr. Meyer had no business going public with his concern (to put it mildly–it was really more than a concern). You just don’t do that. It is extremely destructive to the organization. Somebody get the message to Dr. Meyer, please! He was out of line, no matter what the affront.


  4. Amen to all of the positive comments.

    Five million dollars. That is not very much at all.

    This kind of leadership motivates me to give to the synod.

    I believe it will motivate others.

    If this kind of leadership does not turn things around, nothing will.

    But I believe it will be turned around now.

  5. “$2.6 million per year to service the historic CUS debt”

    Service on the debt. I would generally figure that is just the interest.

    I am not a financial advisor, but maybe they work towards eliminating the debt.

    Then less would go to paying interest to service the debt.

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