Monday, January 29, 2007

Letter to Trustees 2/29/07

January 29, 2007

Katherine Bullock Helen Elswit

Margaret Foerster Willard Hanzlik

William Hayes Durant Hunter

Michael Sharples Charles Spaulding Jr. 4534 SW 27th Ave.

Christopher Towle Portland, OR 97239

Dear Members of the Board of Trustees of the Principia,

It is with great anticipation and trepidation that I pen this letter. Anticipation that the events currently transpiring on the Principia campuses provide the possibility for saving Prin from the self-destructive spiral that I have witnessed the last several years. Trepidation that if this effort to remove Stuart Jenkins and return Prin to the spiritual and democratic foundation that has epitomized its entire history is not successful this beloved institution may be mortally damaged …wounded beyond repair. This is a seminal moment!

A brief history of this writer follows. My children, Ashley (Schmidt) Smith (C’02) and Blake Schmidt (C’00) were the 18th and 19th members of our family to attend Prin. My wife, Brooke Howell Schmidt (C’71) and I (C’71) met at Prin. While students we were very active in student government… culminating in my being Men’s Org President. Since graduating we have been active in our Prin club serving several years as President. I also served 3 years (2000-2003) on the NEC (National Executive Committee) repre-senting Region 1. For 6 years while our children were at the college we were on campus an average of 3 times a year. George Moffett wrote of me in, in part, last November: someone who has done more in the field to support Principia than just about anyone I can think of. We owe you so much for what you have done in Portland and for your service…on the NEC Board…”

We have closely watched what has transpired on both campuses since Stuart Jenkins arrived first with surprise, then shock, revulsion and despair. We saw so many of the pillars of the community summarily leave, heard repeated tales of him running roughshod over the historic boards, committees and offices which had brought diversity to the community and saw the balanced whole man fast becoming solely the athletic man.

Although separated by ½ a country from the campuses I have kept in close contact with many friends and acquaintances who are still in St Louis and Elsah. My love for Prin nullifies the geographical separation. We were also on campus for four days last July for our 35th reunion.

Like many other alumni and friends of Prin we have suspended any financial contributions while Stuart remains as CEO. We have also distanced ourselves from his planned visit to Portland in April, not wanting to support any activity featuring him. I would love to further serve Prin…but I realize that as long as Stuart is CEO only “his friends” will have that opportunity. The modus operandi has become impurely personal.

When Stuart was first appointed as CEO/Chairman I drove to Seattle to hear and meet him at a regional meeting. My first impression was that he was a poor speaker and that person/personality/ego spoke loudest. When George Moffett speaks, whether about campus issues or world crises, the core is metaphysics and the message is clear, memorable and inspiring. When I organized the joint appearance of Michael Sharples, Bob Clark and George Moffett, and their spouses, in Portland several years ago all were impressed with the team and their dedication and inspirational message. They presented an enlightened, balanced and captivating picture of Principia.

At last summer’s reunion I was disappointed and embarrassed each time Stuart Jenkins spoke. Inspiration, clarity, love for the whole man were all missing. He addressed the alumni gathered in Cox, misreading printed words projected on a screen. I felt as though I was at a high school assembly. I was uncomfortable.

Now is the time for wisdom to prevail. Now is the time for humility to trump ego. The trustees have the opportunity to become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

I feel very strongly that Stuart Jenkin's time at Prin has been a catastrophe. He has demoralized, debilitated and decimated the faculty, staff and administration. His style is personal, intrusive and dictatorial.

George Moffett, Bob Clark, Hal Hoerner, Elaine Follis, Dory Smith and many others are inspirational Christian Scientists and leaders. They will be major contributors to the cause of Christian Science and their communities wherever they are. But it is Prin’s loss that concerns me! It is so much harder to remedy a mistake than to make one.

Please admit that Stuart Jenkins and Principia are not a match. Please assure the remaining faculty and staff that they are valued and will be retained. Please ask Martha and George Moffett to stay at the college. Please in deed and in word restore the faith of the many thousands of alumni and friends around the world that Mary Kimball Morgan’s vision is alive and well. And most importantly demonstrate to the students that guided by Principle “No sordid, selfish motive can find nourishment in the mental soil of Principia.” [Education at Principia p.12]. Be healers! Be the solution!

“Spirit blesses the multiplication of its own pure and perfect ideas.” Science and Health 512:20

With gratitude,

Paul Schmidt JD GRI


Friends of Principia #1

Dear Friend of Principia, January 29, 2007

At 6:00 AM today I sat down to write a letter to the Principia Trustees detailing my concerns about Principia and the distrust and discontent that pervade the campuses. I thought I would send it off quickly and then tackle my “list” for today. Eleven hours later I find myself even more embroiled and further committed to aiding an immediate resolution of this crisis that threatens the very existence of Principia.

I am writing you because I know of your love for Principia. Prin needs your prayers and activism to dig itself out of the present imbroglio. I will not be too long winded because what it important is for you to immediately make your individual voice known.

I have been increasingly concerned over the last 3 years because of things I have seen and heard about Stuart Jenkins’ hegemony as CEO/Chairman of The Principia. It is not just a disagreement about priorities [the whole man being sacrificed for the athletic man, for example] but rather a trail of deception and outright lies to cover up un-Christian actions and personal vendettas.

Lest you think I am hallucinating, two trustees have quit in protest and are very active in trying to help bring about a “regime change”. The Faculty Senate and Faculty from both campuses have been meeting to consider a censure motion. Did you know the CEO received a 47% pay increase last year [to $250,000] at the same time as millions of dollars were being trimmed from budgets, academic programs were being eliminated and the size of the student body was near an all time low?

The best source for historical and updated information is I urge you to read what is available at that website to draw your own conclusions. I suggest starting with the article “Faculty response to current challenges” dated Sunday January 28, 2007. Focus on the letter read aloud by a faculty member at last Thursday’s Faculty Senate Meeting. It summarizes the problem and suggests a metaphysical focus, as well as practical steps that must be taken.

Although there are several members of the Board of Trustees who recognize and acknowledge the fundamental problems with Stuart’s leadership, they are so brow beaten by him and concerned about the egregious actions that they have condoned [slander, misrepresentation, and intimidation] that they are unwilling or unable to stand up to him.

I would be happy to talk to anyone by phone or e-mail who wants to discuss this situation. I have talked at length to Dr. Traci Bliss. She was the only non-Principia grad amongst the trustees. She resigned on December 31st to protest the repeated unethical behavior that the Board has been permitting under threat from the CEO. In addition I know Gary Krisel, who also resigned as a trustee. I have other contacts who are still at Prin, as well as some who have left, who’ve shared their experiences.

Do these name sounds familiar?

George and Martha Moffett* President of the College and his wife

Bob and Sandi Clark* Headmaster of the Upper School and his wife

Hal Hoerner* Long time Upper School administrator

Dory Smith Head of Athletics on the St Louis campus

Gary Krisel Former trustee

Dr Traci Bliss Former trustee

Jack Hubbell CSB Former trustee

Elaine Follis* Head of Faculty, Religion professor

Mike Kensler Boy’s dorm

They are history…or about to be! And their silence is being forced by agreements* they were obligated to sign when they were terminated. Not surprisingly, they continue to be leaders in their community and the Movement. Not surprisingly, Principia has been left with huge voids that are hard to fill…especially with the atmosphere of fear that permeates two campuses where no one knows whose head will be next to roll.

Now is the seminal moment to stand up and do our part to save Prin. We, as alumni and friends of Principia, are the only ones who can effect the needed regime change.

Here are some suggestions:

(1) Read Truth at Principia [] and send copies of any e-mails

(2) Send an e-mail to the trustees:

"Bill Hays" ,

"Charles 'Tuck' Spaulding, Jr." ,

"Chris Towle" ,

"Durant Hunter" ,

"Helen Ostenberg Elswit" ,

"Katharine Bullock" ,

"Maggi Foerster CSB" ,

"Michael Sharples"

"Willard Hanzlik" <>

(3) Send an e-mail to officers in the Development Office”

Mal Neale N CA, NW. Rocky Mtn States, W Canada

Larry Harrison AZ, S CA, Midwest

Steve Abbott SouthWest, South

Mary Shays NE, mid CA, mid-atl.

(4) Send an e-mail of support to Dr Traci Bliss [] & Gary Krisel [] the trustees who have resigned.

(5) Send an e-mail to John Williams, President of the Faculty Senate they need to know they have support.

(6) E-mail or call your friends and get them involved.

(7) +Speak about the importance of trust and honesty at Prin.

+Support the removal of Stuart Jenkins and those Trustees who don’t respond to the justified calls from faculty, staff and alumni for his removal.

+Give a vote of confidence to the administrators and trustees who have stood up to be counted.

+Demand that the Moffetts be retained.

+Be clear that you plan to speak with your mouth, with your pen and your pocketbook [no more contributions]

Let’s not regret missing this opportunity to get Principia back on the right track. Think of the dedicated faculty and staff who live in fear of becoming the next victim. Think of the students who are trying to excel in this stressful environment. Think of future generations of Christian Science students who might not have a Prin education as an option. Think of your friends who were teachers and administrators who have already lost their jobs. Think of this attack by animal magnetism on an organization we hold dear. Recognize this is the same lie that has permeated public and private institutions over the past decade.

With gratitude,

Paul Schmidt