November 7, 2006
3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time
As of this afternoon, Tuesday, November 7, 2006, the official Web site of Gallaudet University has been changed to reflect a new vacancy on the Gallaudet Board of Trustees:
Senator John McCain is no longer listed as being a member of the Gallaudet Board of Trustees.
His name was listed there this morning, as a trustee, but his name has just recently been removed within the past hour or so. Word had been circulating throughout the Gallaudet community of an impending change since this morning.
The Education of the Deaf Act of 1986 (as amended) provides that 3 members of Congress (one senator and two representatives) be appointed to the Gallaudet Board of Trustees. They have full voting privileges.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey of California is a Congressional member of the Board, as is Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois.
Here is the current make up of the Board, per Gallaudet.edu:
Senator McCain’s office never returned calls from reporters seeking comment about the Gallaudet protest.
Rep. Woolsey, on the other hand, was actively engaged in meeting with protesters and administrators of Gallaudet during the protest, having assigned two staff members to look into the matter.
Rep. Ray LaHood apparently stayed uninvolved and did not make changes in his travel plans in order to attend the recent Board meeting of Oct. 29 when Jane Fernandes’s contract to be the Ninth President of Gallaudet was rescinded.
[note from Ken: the bylaws of Gallaudet state:]
Section 2.2.1 Voting Trustees — Public Members. Three Voting Trustees shall be public members (“Public Members”), one of whom shall be a United States Senator appointed by the President of the Senate, and two shall be Members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House. The Public Members shall be appointed for a term of two years commencing at the beginning of each Congress, shall be eligible for reappointment, and shall serve until their successors are appointed.
Section 2.2.10 Removal. The Board, by vote of a majority of all Voting Trustees then in office, is authorized to remove any Trustee (except the Public Members) who may refuse or neglect to discharge the duties of a Trustee, or whose removal, in the judgment of said majority, is in the interest and welfare of the University. Notice of any proposed removal shall be provided to all Board members at least ten days in advance of such vote.
Section 2.2.11 Vacancies. In the event of any vacancy of the Board, such vacancy shall be filled as provided in this Article of these Bylaws. Interim vacancies of Public Members shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term of the Trustee being replaced. Interim vacancies of Non-Public Members may be filled for the unexpired portion of the term of the Trustee being replaced or for a longer period (but not more than three years) as the Board deems appropriate.
[further, the bylaws state:]
Section 4.6 Quorum and Voting. Nine Voting Trustees shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The affirmative vote of a majority of all Voting Trustees then in office shall be required to amend these Bylaws, to remove a Trustee, or to elect or remove a President. The affirmative vote of a majority of the Voting Trustees present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall constitute action of the Board on all other matters, unless the vote of a greater number is required by law or by these Bylaws.
[by this I interpret today’s announcement to be a resignation by McCain. He was not removed from the BoT. He removed himself. What possible motivations could he have for doing so? is it related to his intention to run for President of the U.S.? Or is it due to a internal conflict with other members of the Board? In any case, according to Section 2.2.1, McCain’s replacement can only be appointed by the President of the Senate, and McCain should not have been allowed to resign until his successor IS appointed.]