Regarding the Oct. 14 news article “ Peace president to leave after tumultuous tenure”: The change to William Peace University has been traumatic for the Peace community, but especially so for alumnae.
At first blush that may sound counterintuitive, but many alumnae have effectively been shut out of their alma mater since Debra Townsley’s arrival. Her approach to “offer unwavering support or close the college today” instilled terror and clouded logic. Dissenting alumnae were vilified as closed-minded man-haters who wanted the college to fail. Shared institutional love was exploited, and fierce infighting among “sisters” ensued.
Dismissal of valid alumnae concerns, the assault on integrity in education and championing women, and pitting us against one another were the ultimate betrayal. I am not as offended that Townsley, an outsider, espoused this attitude as I am shocked that the Board of Trustees allowed her to continuously patronize alumnae and aggressively silence our offers of alternatives.
To save Peace, the board must engage in open dialogue and strategic planning inclusive of the entire Peace community. Alumnae know what was good about Peace College. Now that we have been divided, human capital has been lost and financial expenditures have been made with little return, the stakes are high.