The NC State Alumni Association Board of Directors has released this letter following a change in leadership at the organization:
Dear NC State Alumni,
The decision of Chancellor James Woodward to end the employment of NC State Alumni Association Executive Director Dr. Lennie Barton is being received with a great deal of sadness by many NC State alumni. Dr. Barton faithfully, ably and enthusiastically served our Alumni Association and NC State for more than 30 years, and we are deeply grateful for his leadership. The officers and board of directors of the NC State Alumni Association recognize that Chancellor Woodward, in reaching this decision to end the employment of Dr. Barton, heard and considered many points of view, and that his decision was made with a great deal of thought and careful deliberation. We respect the chancellor’s authority to make decisions regarding the employment of his senior staff members, such as Dr. Barton.
Some of you may be concerned about the state of the NC State Alumni Association in light of these developments. You should be assured that no one, including the Chancellor Woodward, has suggested or expressed any concern whatsoever of malfeasance, dishonesty or inappropriate allocation of funds or member pledges. Contrary to what may have been inferred from press accounts on this matter, there is simply no evidence that would support such inferences. Rather, Chancellor Woodward has said that his primary concerns relate to some of the long-term strategic plans of the Alumni Association and some of the assumptions used in developing those plans. As part of our association’s response to these recent events, the officers and board are carefully considering the views of the chancellor on these points. We intend to keep the membership of the Alumni Association informed of our findings and welcome your input.
The Alumni Association, in response to recent nationwide economic turmoil, took a number of appropriate measures, including staff reductions and budget cuts, to ensure that our core functions would remain on task and vibrant. Those of you who have had the opportunity to attend recent alumni functions, interact with a Caldwell Fellows student, visit the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center, or read our nationally recognized magazine will have seen this firsthand. We have initiated a lifetime membership program and increased our focus on young alumni memberships. Our membership has dramatically increased in the past six years, and our strategic plan calls for reaching the 30,000 mark in 2013. Our operations are staffed by an exceptional group of innovative, energetic and dedicated employees.
The officers and board of directors are committed to moving forward in our mission to enhance the lifelong connection between students, alumni, friends and NC State University and to promote the growth, progress and general welfare of the university. We will be working in close collaboration with the chancellor, the university and you, our fellow alumni, to continue to achieve this mission.
The Alumni Association Board of Directors