Opponents are silenced and, in some cases, have been escorted off the premises even though they did nothing wrong. Members who ask questions at meetings are shouted down or ignored, and procedural rules for making motions are flouted. There have been blatant violations of the By-laws and Constitution. Threats of losing one's position at the League and actual removal of opponents from their positions have occurred. Other opponents have been threatened with loss of a scholarship. Calls for meaningful debate have been brushed aside, and members have been denied important information needed to make informed decisions.
The President runs the League as if it is his own enterprise. Matters have been presented to both the Board and members as fait accompli. When either Board members or members request information about such transactions, they are obstructed or denied access to the records or documents critical to decision-making. The League has shunned offers of large charitable bequests. Instead, the League raised money by selling off its real estate development rights, one of its primary assets, and for far less than their worth.
Conflicts of interest and breaches of fiduciary duty have been identified - a failure to provide verified or certified audited financial statements to the members, which is required by law; serious voting irregularities; providing false and misleading information to members; a failure to get an appraisal before accepting a sale price on the cantilever transaction and only getting one after members protested. That appraisal showed that the original accepted price was too low.
The Board has engaged in other highly questionable practices, including a huge expansion of administrative personnel without improvement of services, and huge raises for certain administrators when the economy was in a recession and wages were flat. More recently, part-time students have been banned from the wood, stone and clay sculpture classes, and those who wish to continue to work part time were forced to enroll as full-time students and pay commensurate tuition.
The process of moving the League from a membership organization to a tightly controlled non-transparent and non-responsive organization has been done slowly, methodically and quietly to avoid notice and the consequences are only now becoming apparent to the wider membership.
And soon things will be worse as the President and others on the Board try to push through changes in the By-laws and Constitution. These changes would deprive the members of the little power they now have and give the Board and a four-person executive committee even greater powers to control the League. Further, it appears that the Board intends to seek accreditation to become a for-profit college and abandon the League's traditional role as a haven for artists and art students.
Members must Appear in Person at the December 2nd Annual Meeting to vote on the Board's Proposed Constitutional Amendments. The vote on these amendments is all or nothing. We strongly urge you to vote NO.