No room in the C.U.S. Regenthood

2016_SynodConvention-side2“There’s no room in the ‘hood for you!” That is the message that LC-MS parish pastors, commissioned ministers, stay-at-home-moms, and most laymen might get when they read the qualifications for the Boards of Regents of Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod colleges and universities.

This is an issue that will come up this month, as people consider nominating and being nominated for these regent positions—deadline is October 9th. We have all been alerted to these issues by the LC-MS Secretary (see this link). I am publishing this article, not for the sake of complaining, but to help any of you who are thinking about nominating or being nominated.

Here is what the bylaw says: Persons elected or appointed to a [CUS university or college] board of regents should be knowledgeable regarding the region in which the institution is located and shall demonstrate familiarity and support for the doctrinal positions of the Synod and possess two or more of the following qualifications: theological acumen, an advanced academic degree, experience in higher education administration, administration of complex organizations, finance, law, investments, technology, human resources, facilities management, or fund development. Demonstrated familiarity and support of the institution is a desired quality in the candidate. (LC-MS Bylaw 3.10.5.2.7).

Similar qualifications are found in bylaw 3.6.6.3 for the Concordia University System (hereafter CUS) Board of Directors. Also to be noted is that four congregations in Montana criticized bylaw 3.10.5.2.7 in 2013 and proposed an alternate, which was not adopted (see 2013 Convention Workbook, pp. 215-216).

What does this bylaw mean? The term “should” is directive, but not absolute. The term “shall” is absolute. Note that such persons shall possess two or more of these qualifications. If they do not possess two or more of these qualifications, they cannot even be considered by the synod nominating committee. You might possess one of those qualifications, but not many of us possess “two or more.” What do these qualifications really mean?

Here is my take on the terms, which will probably have to be defined by someone official like the Commission on Constitutional Matters (aka CCM).

“Theological acumen” seems to ask for something more than what most LC-MS pastors possess. They all have theological competence. All those who have the M.Div. certainly have that. But “acumen” in the dictionary is defined as “quickness and accuracy of judgment; keenness of insight.” And you have to be able to demonstrate this too. So I think that this qualification would only be demonstrated by those who possess a S.T.M., Th.M., or Ph.D. in theology; OR who have demonstrated their “keenness of insight” by writing brilliant posts on their blogs, on Brothers of John the Steadfast, or an article in some peer-reviewed journal. I can think of many lay and clergy authors here at Brothers of John the Steadfast who have demonstrated this attribute.

“Advanced academic degree” means something more than a B.A. or B.S. Lots of folks have this, but many folks qualified in other areas don’t have it. I know plenty of folks who have “worked their way up the ladder” without any college degree, and who are brilliant in administration, finance, investments, technology, human resources, management, facilities, or fund development. This is part of what makes America great, namely, that you can succeed without jumping through all the hoops put up by the academic community. Steve Jobs wouldn’t possess this quality, because he didn’t even graduate from college, attending only one year at Reed College.

“Experience in higher education administration” is obvious, I think. Only persons who have been college or seminary presidents, vice-presidents, or deans of some sort, would qualify here.

“Administration of complex organizations” is not obvious. As to position, it seems to mean a president, vice-president, or treasurer/comptroller. Most non-profit organizations are not complex, though the work can be very frustrating. Complex organizations are almost all larger ones, like universities, that regularly have to deal in multiple dimensions such as: finance, law of all sorts, government regulations, investments, revenue development, marketing, distribution, computerized technology, corporate structure and management, personnel issues, labor disputes, facilities, property, equipment, maintenance, etc. Our LC-MS school principals have to deal with some of these issues, but not all of them to the same degree found in a university or a public, for-profit corporation. Our LC-MS pastors rarely have to deal with these issues, unless they are legally-vested as CEOs of a huge mega-church.

“Finance” would include corporate treasurers, bank directors, bank executives, the equivalent at credit unions and savings-and-loans, and C.P.A.s, but not clerks or other lower-level managers at banks or credit unions. “Law” would include attorneys and judges, but not paralegal or legal staff. “Investments” would include certified brokers and C.F.P.s, but not your average insurance salesman. “Technology,” I think, would mean Information Technology managers, but not mere programmers or technicians.

“Human resources” would mean managers of personnel departments, not staff in those departments. “Facilities management” means the person that hires and supervises other people to do maintenance and repair. “Fund development” means professional fund-raisers, such as employed by large non-profits and universities.

Where did this bylaw come from? It was first proposed by the now-extinct Board for University Education and the Concordia University (hereafter CU) regents at Portland, Saint Paul, and Austin (see 2010 Convention Workbook, pp. 202-203). It was adopted as Resolution 5-09B in 2010 (see 2010 Convention Proceedings, pp. 138-139). It was further refined, and added to the qualifications for the CUS Board of Directors, through an overture from the CUS Board of Directors, LCMS Board of Directors, and CU regents at Austin, Saint Paul, Nebraska, and Irvine (see 2013 Convention Workbook, pp. 208-215). It was adopted as Resolution 5-05B in 2013 (see 2013 Convention Proceedings, pp. 140-145).

Lots of questions arise: Why was this bylaw necessary? Did the Synod Nominating Committee in the past fail to put such people on the ballot? Did the convention fail to elect them? Did synod members fail to nominate them? Don’t we already hire people with such qualifications to do all these jobs at our colleges and universities, and to bring their expertise to the board when needed?

If our universities need these qualifications, don’t our seminaries also need them? Don’t both of our mission boards also need them? Don’t all of our synod-wide corporate entities—CPS, LCEF, CHI, CPH, LC-MS Foundation—also need them? Doesn’t our LC-MS Board of Directors, of all boards, also need these qualifications? Why not make these qualifications universal and absolute for all boards in the synod and districts?

I have one possible answer to these questions. These qualifications describe people who usually have money, lots of it. Among synod boards, only the universities ask for donations from their board members. If you have never served on a university or college board of regents, you may not realize that our college and university presidents, and their fund development directors, regularly impress upon their regents their obligation to give lots of money to the university that they serve.

Talk to any person who has been a university or college regent in the last thirty years, and they will confirm that they are “shamed” into giving. Of course, our pastors and teachers rarely have much to offer when it comes to their financial gifts, but even they are “shamed” into giving more than they can afford. I have heard many complaints about this over the years by pastors and teachers who have served as regents. Whether or not this is good or bad, you can judge and debate, but this is what happens.

Who is going to be eligible to serve? Your average LC-MS pastor who has an M.Div., but only that, will not be eligible. Very few of our commissioned ministers will be eligible—maybe a few principals of our biggest high schools and elementary schools, but that is about it. I am thinking that most public school teachers, government officials, surgeons, doctors, dentists, nurses, farmers, sole proprietors, LWML presidents, and self-employed professionals will also be excluded, as well as many other professions. In fact, most of the people who were in previous years’ Biographical Synopses would not be eligible, at least according to the data in those books.

Therefore, this article is a bit of encouragement, for you who are reading this, to seek out folks who are eligible according to these stated qualifications, and who are willing to give donations to the university they might serve. Get their permission, their information, and send in those forms before the deadline of October 9th, 2015.

As to whether these qualifications are wise or good, I will let the Brothers of John the Steadfast debate that. Maybe some smart guy or gal can cook up a good overture to revise these bylaws, and get it to the Secretary’s office before the February 1st, 2016 early deadline. I have already submitted four overtures to my own congregation on other issues, so I am not going to ask them to do one on this issue.

I personally think that, at the minimum, different qualifications should apply to pastors and commissioned ministers than those that apply to laymen for the regents and CUS positions. I personally think that too many of these qualifications are too vague, and that one absolute “shall have” qualification should be sufficient for a layman. Sometimes the most qualified people have only one demonstrated skill, but in that area they are true masters—and have been rewarded amply for it by society with position, wealth, and other benefits.

As for me, personally, I am not an elitist. I don’t think all the wisdom in the world is to be found in those who have all the money, or who have captured all the choice positions in business and society. I believe that Leviticus 19:15 applies to Christians today: “Do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great.” James repeats this admonition against favoritism with his exposition of that theme in James 2:1-9.

We certainly need the talents expressed by the absolute “shall have” qualifications in the bylaw I have analyzed, but we may not need all of them in our university regent members. And I think we can do this without excluding others who have so much to contribute from the talents our Lord has given them (1 Corinthians 12:12-30). Maybe I’m wrong. What do you think?


Comments

No room in the C.U.S. Regenthood — 23 Comments

  1. The author of this article says…”I am not an elitist.” But “different qualifications should apply to pastors and commissioned ministers than those that apply to laymen for the regents and CUS positions.” sure sounds elitist to me. Reminds me of line from Animal Farm, all are equal but some are more equal than others.

  2. Dear Gaius,

    The reason for different qualifications for pastors and commissioned-workers is that the present qualifications in the bylaws appear to me to exclude almost all commissioned ministers and most pastors.

    Perhaps you don’t want pastors or teachers to participate in the governing of the synod and its agencies, but that has been our LCMS tradition, namely, that pastors and other church-workers have an equal part to play with laymen.

    You have perhaps not understood what I am saying. That’s okay. It took me awhile to figure out the implications of these bylaws.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  3. I have been concerned about this for some time now. I am finishing up my second term on the Board of Regents for Concordia Texas. I have earned the respect of the other board members. I have judiciously made hard stands at critical times. And behind the scenes I have influenced some major decisions in a positive direction. And yet, based on these qualifications, I am probably not eligible to run for re-election for what would be my third and final term. I am one of those who has learned through the experience called ‘life’ and have worked hard to continue learning and growing, and I give my time, treasure, and talent generously to our church body. I have experience and insights to contribute to my board that are different and unique than some of the more formally educated members, or those who have lots of money to contribute. There should be room at the table for a wide variety of us, and I see this as very limiting and most unfortunate.

  4. Besides the possibility of large contributions (the money isn’t always a given), an advanced academic degree means more exposure to the liberal mindset. Just saying….

    I think a few ordinary people, with some life experience, could make a contribution to a Board of Regents of an LCMS school. If some of the “finer points of governing” had to be explained to them, it might clarify things in the minds of the speakers, too. A few confessional M Div’s seem to be what most of our “universities” need, balanced by a financial person or two who has actually earned a living, not necessarily as a CEO.

    And people should not have to buy their board seat.

  5. “Advanced academic degree” means something more than a B.A. or B.S. Lots of folks have this, but many folks qualified in other areas don’t have it. I know plenty of folks who have “worked their way up the ladder” without any college degree, and who are brilliant in administration, finance, investments, technology, human resources, management, facilities, or fund development…”

    With the enrollment of second career students who become pastors, I would imagine there are a few or many with advanced degrees. We want more pastors governing our synod and less lay folks.

  6. Out of curiosity, do we have any evidence that the new policy is being interpreted in this narrow fashion?

    I do think it’s good if a majority of those who have decision making roles over a university have lived though a university experience, and various professional specialties are probably good to have, too. But I can’t envision why a Lutheran college or university wouldn’t have a prominent voice (or voices) from well educated pastors, and at least a few from the less educated laity who represent the families the universities are ostensibly tryng to woo to their school.

  7. “I have one possible answer to these questions. These qualifications describe people who usually have money, lots of it. Among synod boards, only the universities ask for donations from their board members. If you have never served on a university or college board of regents, you may not realize that our college and university presidents, and their fund development directors, regularly impress upon their regents their obligation to give lots of money to the university that they serve.

    Talk to any person who has been a university or college regent in the last thirty years, and they will confirm that they are “shamed” into giving. Of course, our pastors and teachers rarely have much to offer when it comes to their financial gifts, but even they are “shamed” into giving more than they can afford. I have heard many complaints about this over the years by pastors and teachers who have served as regents. Whether or not this is good or bad, you can judge and debate, but this is what happens.”

    Dr. Nolan, with all due respect, if fund development directors and presidents are, as you put it, “shaming” board members into giving, then those doing the shaming don’t squat about professional and ethical fund-raising practices. I am taking public issue with a publicly expressed statement that our college presidents and fund-development leaders routinely resort to guilting and embarrassing board members into giving big amounts of money – amounts more than they can bear.

    The truer description of what happens when approaching a board and, to a similar degree the faculty and staff of a university – if a true professional is involved – is that board members are encouraged to give something, with the individual deciding for themselves any amount of annual support supplied. What is reported with the board and other people (donors) is – and should only be – the percentage of the board membership who actively supports the mission of the organization. Amounts are not reported, except perhaps an unexpected and unusually generous total for the whole board, and only with the Board’s permission. Faculty and staff – or for non-university organizations their employees – are similarly asked to supply an annual gift.

    Why?

    If a board and the organizations employees (and this includes the fund-raisers themselves) aren’t supporting the organization, why would or should I as a potential donor or alum want to offer my own support? What do those closest to the organization know about the inner workings of that entity that gives them pause, makes them reluctant to freely offer support? If they have pause, then I have a right to also be concerned. Board members’, the president, faculty and fund-raisers’ only obligation to give is tied to their role as organizational leaders and role models. People look to these leaders for confirmation that they are confident enough in the work of that organization to back it up with their own offerings.

    It falls under the ethical principle that “he who asks, first gives.”

    If any Lutheran nonprofit’s leaders are resorting to “guilting” Board members and employees into giving (law), they have stopped being Lutheran in their thinking about God and the gifts that He supplies to every person. Equally concerning, they are not working with key leaders in a professional manner. Perhaps the Board or Regents members who suffer this ought to bring it up in a meeting with the organization’s president, treasurer, and fund-development leader. Have an open and frank discussion about it, rather than walk away and stew over it. If Board members, faculty and employees don’t want to offer their support, why not? What is going on in the background that makes even a token gift difficult? I’m not talking widow’s mite – for she gave everything she had. I’m talking ‘token’ vote of confidence.

    There might also be an open and frank discussion about the implied message being sent to the church when a statistically significant percentage of the board cannot joyfully and willingly make at least one gift a year to the organization, at a level determined between the Board member and the Holy Spirit.

    The amount should give the person doing the giving joy. No more, no less.

    The implication that our Lutheran universities, seminaries, RSOs and other nonprofts intentionally do to their Board members what you’ve hypothesized here is disturbing. On a number of fronts. And for those who know better than to use guilt when working with a board, the implication about their character is more than slightly offensive.

  8. For the good of the cause, an M.Div. is an advanced academic degree, and all LCMS pastors have theological acumen, Most if not all Senior Pastors have experience operating a complex organization ( a church is a complex organization if there ever was one) If you look carefully at many current CU boards of regents, you will find pastors, Lutheran and public school educators, attorneys, dentists, small business owners, secular university professors, CEO’s, Corporate executives many of which “only” have and MBA, fundraising consultants, and many other occupations All of whom are gifted in two or more areas and able to serve quite effectively. Our church body needs lay people in roles of leadership on our boards, committees, commissions,etc. Without that the principles on which the LCMS was founded will go away. There is no difference in God’s eyes between a layperson and ordained or commissioned ministers. In the two kingdoms in which we all exist these qualifications seem to supply our boards of regents with quality LCMS people.

  9. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Thanks for all your comments so far. I have a busy three day weekend, so probably won’t get back to looking at this till next week.

    I cannot say how the Nominating Committee or the Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) will interpret these various qualifications. I think I said in my article that the CCM or someone will have to do that.

    I was just trying to make you think about the meaning of the words that are there. Words have fixed meanings, which are subject to contextual use, but are not a “wax nose.” “Acumen” is “acumen,” and means something more than just “competence,” at least according to the dictionaries I have.

    As to the fundraising business, I agree that there are good and bad ways to do that. It may be that many of the regent members who have complained to me about being shamed into giving are the exception, not the rule. I would not have received complaints when fund-raising was done ethically and without pressure. It all probably depends on the president of the college, and/or his development people.

    I have heard, as a general rule, the principle stated within the CUS that “Regent members must support the university they serve financially, because that is part of a regents commitment. Regents can’t ask others to give if they don’t do that themselves.” That can be framed in different ways, both good and bad.

    You can judge whether or not this is a good rule in general. I have my doubts about it.

    For myself, when I worked as Director at CHI, we gave our board members an opportunity to contribute to the project of the CHI museum and new archive area. But we did not shame them, pressure them, or say they were obligated to support it. At least I did not say such things. I cannot say what happened after I was terminated.

    I did not see my board members as sources of wealth, but as sources of talent for the Institute, if they were willing to help beyond the board meeting itself. For example, we had one person who worked for one of the largest software companies in the US. When we were working on our computer systems, I often asked her opinion directly.

    Another example, when one of our related-property committees was considering moving a one-room school house, I asked the civil engineer on our board to come with me and look at the situation. He predicted quite accurately what would have happened, which would have damaged or destroyed the school and damaged a nearby house, so we didn’t do that. He also gave excellent counsel when we were offered space in the Christian Brother’s College, which space we declined after careful analysis.

    Regents and board members know, more than anyone, the financial needs of an institution. They should be given opportunity to support, but not shamed or pressured in any way. Their contribution of time, energy, and talent is the most valuable thing they can give–and I always expressed my appreciation to those who served with me.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  10. And yet, based on these qualifications, I am probably not eligible to run for re-election for what would be my third and final term. I am one of those who has learned through the experience called ‘life’ and have worked hard to continue learning and growing, and I give my time, treasure, and talent generously to our church body.

    Weren’t these “qualifications” in place, during your last election, Noreen? [I think CTX could survive, and would probably benefit from another term for you.] 🙂

    We want more pastors governing our synod and less lay folks.
    There are also “lay folks” with some theological awareness. The traditional 50-50 has worked (and there are underutilized “advanced degrees” among our Pastors, FTM).

  11. @Mark #7
    I’m a Board of Regents member and I can verify that Dr. Noland is correct. There is undue pressure placed on Regents to contribute. The phrase “money talks” is alive and well in the LCMS.

  12. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Your comments have made a “light go on.”

    Since these qualifications, as they stand, could be interpreted in various ways by the Nominating Committee, it also means someone will have the authority to throw out any Floor Nominations they don’t like by interpreting these qualifications in various ways at the synod convention.

    You see, the President, Vice-Presidents, and Regional positions for LCMS Board of Directors, Boards of National Missions, and International Missions already prevent floor nominations (Bylaw 3.12.2.7 (d)). That was part of the BRTFSSG restructuring.

    By the rules established by LC-MS Bylaw 3.10.5.2.7 and 3.6.6.3, any floor nominees for Regents can be thrown out by the President of the CUS or the Secretary, and floor nominees for CUS can be thrown out by the CAO or the Secretary, if they do not meet these admittedly ambiguous qualifications (Bylaw 3.12.3.7 (c) ). This could be used to take away the nomination authority of the convention for these offices, and I think it does in principle.

    It is obvious to me that someone doesn’t like floor nominations. They are admittedly a pain, but also an important part of democratic process. See Robert’s Rules of Order on that.

    By the way, I am not arguing that any of these bylaws are good. I had nothing to do with their development, nor was I a delegate to those conventions. I am just trying to explain how they will work in practice.

    I hope this helps a bit.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  13. @Scott Diekmann #11

    Then that is truly sad. I pray that as a bold, confessing Lutheran you will lead the charge to have a frank and honest discussion with the president and the chief fund raising officer about the performance of their duties in a Lutheran institution.

    It is one thing to be giving joyfully to support the institution you serve as a steward of the Gospel, and be told that it isn’t enough and you should be giving more (very law and a denial of God’s good gifts to all). It is another to withhold even a token of support and yet be in a position of leadership. It sounds to me that you are in the first situation, not the latter. Lord have mercy.

  14. Neat article, Pastor Nolan.
    Um, this is the way, anyone elected (relative term, it is but isn’t)to any Board of Regents, generally works. those elected are required to have a specific background & very specific skill set, and any regent’s board, is primarily about donations. You have the ability, to bring in, big $$$$$$ donations, have connections both in & outside, that University, Hospital, etc. You have to be an Alumni, or be heavily connected w/that entity. And you need to have serious liquid cash, to back up your connections, who must also have serious liquid cash. You also, have to have either connected public or private pull~6 degrees of separation, to bring in bodies & $$$$$. It’s just the way, that system works.
    I have 2 family members that attended, one dropped & one graduated.
    It’s the old draw, power, fame, and fortune. That is the way, the world works and that is how this all was set up to work.

  15. Dear Dutch,

    Thanks for your comment #14. I agree with you that is how the world works and I don’t have a problem with that in the cases of secular-private universities. I understand that if I want to be on the Board of Stanford University, I better either be famous, rich, or connected to rich. So you can “buy the office” in most of those place, truth be told. That is okay, because that is how the world works.

    However the Christian church has a strong ethical principle against “buying the office.” It is called “simony” (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simony ). Luther also spoke against it. So as long as our Concordias claim to be Christian, they cannot “sell the office.” I am not saying they are doing that.

    But the temptation is always there to play the mammon card. I know from people who have complained to me privately that undue pressure is put on some regents to contribute. I am sure that not all the college presidents do that, and maybe those that do, don’t do it to all regents in equal manner. I don’t know, and it is not the main point of my post. Thanks for your comment!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  16. Will those qualifications eventually work their way to the Seminary boards? For example, I know of two brothers who were members of Seminary boards for years. One, a layman attorney, would qualify, but his brother, an MDiv with 50 years of service, would not. That would not be good.

  17. Dear Tim (comment #18),

    As I indicated in my article/post, if these qualifications are truly needed for the university regent positions, then they would, by logic, also be truly needed for all other board positions in the LCMS, including at the district level. All “boards” deal with finance and law, and are legally accountable for those areas. So it would seem to follow that every board that is accountable in that way should follow the universities. “Commissions” are more task specific, and this would not apply to them.

    But I question the premise, namely, that bylaws 3.10.5.2.7 and 3.6.6.3 are good or even practical.

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    All of us who have been involved with governance at the congregational level know something about how boards work. All LC-MS pastors have to sit on the board of directors at their congregations. All LC-MS principals have to sit on their board of education. Many of those same pastors and principals have, over the years, served at the district or community level on boards of various types. That is why the Biographical Synopses for conventions includes fields for this type of data, to demonstrate service on boards in particular. In almost every case, persons who have the most significant service on such boards are the ones elected.

    That is why it doesn’t make sense to require additional qualifications for pastors or principals who have already had such experience. But bylaws 3.10.5.2.7 and 3.6.6.3 impose such absolute additional qualifications on the very people who have the most experience in the governance of church organizations, and excludes most of them, including former LWML Presidents–unless those ladies have demonstrated competencies in a secular profession.

    To tell the truth, from my experience, the LWML is one of the best-run organizations in the LC-MS, and many of them are homemakers, stay-at-home-moms, the “mom” part of “mom-and-pop shops,” and farmers with their husbands. Give credit to those ladies where it is due!

    In addition, the original function of our universities was to provide college training for our synodical church-workers. In some cases, liberal arts were also offered, but the chief purpose was to serve as an incubator for faith and church service. Pastors would, of course, require additional training at seminary.

    So because of the nature of the colleges, the synod always included experienced pastors and teachers, and later other commissioned ministers, on its college boards that were responsible for educating pastors, teachers, and other commissioned ministers. I mean, would you have a school of medicine without doctors on the board?

    Do we need finance and legal expertise on our boards? Of course. When I was at CHI, which was the smallest of all LC-MS boards, the long-standing tradition was to have our contracted C.P.A., who did our books, attend our board meetings and explain our quarterly financial reports, what the various trends meant, what we needed to do, and to answer any questions. We paid him for this as part of his contract, which also included his being involved in the annual audit.

    Regarding law, we were fortunate to on our board as a member a retired attorney with expertise in Lutheran church history. He could give pro bono counsel on various occasions, but if it was a serious legal question that could involve liabilities, we would call on synod’s attorney for an official, contracted legal “opinion.” All districts have a contracted attorney for such purposes, and I would think the universities do too. The attorneys on contract can be paid to attend quarterly meetings if needed. So it is not as if there is no legal coverage.

    I think the easiest way to revise the bylaws, after hearing your various comments, would be simply to change the phrase in bylaw 3.10.5.2.7: “Synod and possess two or more of the following qualifications” to read: “Synod. It is desirable that such persons possess one or more of the following qualifications”

    This language would help guide both the nominating committee and the delegates pick from various possible candidates, without summarily throwing out candidates who might otherwise be the perfect fit for the position.

    Thanks for the discussion so far. It has helped me think through the issue. I hope some folks will send in an overture on this topic, because as I said, I am already asking my congregation to do four (see https://steadfastlutherans.org/2015/01/four-overtures-for-the-2016-convention/ ).

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  18. Higher education, even in the CUS system, can become a cartel.
    The same folks credential, hire and tenure staff; inbreeding at its best.
    Now CUS will require ‘credentials’ for the Board of Regents too?
    Meanwhile, the best ideas for Lutheran schools are coming from Scott Walker who ‘lacks’ all these credentials. Walker just signed into law a new voucher program that will increase the cap on voucher students by 1% a year for ten years. Then there will be no cap. It is a statewide program.
    Do we have CUS staff writing and advocating for voucher programs like this?
    Are they doing research on the comparative excellence of Lutheran schools?

  19. @Martin R. Noland #15
    Thank you Pastor Nolan!!!!

    No, in no way, do I agree with any of this.
    That is the world and it never changes. We are not, supposed to operate as the world does, if it is or by us. Somewhere, along the line, what others of the world, were doing, seemed good. I don’t know when, but those in Authority, blinked & said it was good.
    I thank you for what you wrote to me. It was a balm, to hear it. I shudder at how Lutheran schools & universities, operate, now.
    The reason we ever opened any, 1st to present, was to provide an option, for the lambs, in our Lutheran Faith & Synod.
    Far cry, from what they were born & founded to do. Thank you again, Pastor.

  20. @Rose #20

    As if to answer my own question, here’s today’s news: “School choice has improved both public and voucher schools in Milwaukee” is the headline of a study today by a professor at UW:
    http://watchdog.org/236887/milwaukee-choice-25/. Truth from an unexpected quarter.
    Meanwhile, in the LCMS September ‘Michigan in Touch’, Pastor Russ Johnson reports on St. Luke’s (Clinton Township) decision to make their school tuition-free for all. Shoes of the Fisherman.

  21. I agree with most of the comments here, including the idea of changing the bylaws. On the other hand, perhaps LCMS folks aren’t so creative in the nominating process. I have the feeling that we (and I refer to the whole synod, not just one “party” or “coalition” or whatever) have a fixed stable of candidates — the guys (and a few gals) that everyone knows. For example, in my seminary class there were at least two guys who had PhDs (in electrical engineering and math) and one who had been a lawyer. I personally asked one if he’d be willing to be nominated for a Board of Regents (Portland) but he declined because he’s a newly elected district vp (also on CCM). But what about the other two? Maybe they wouldn’t be willing, but maybe we’re not thoughtful enough to find out.

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