Report of the committee appointed to investigate the difficulties at Kenyon College

Title

Report of the committee appointed to investigate the difficulties at Kenyon College

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Report of the committee appointed to investigate the difficulties at Kenyon College.

Date

9-9-1831

Keywords

Philander Chase, committee, standing committee, presidential power, president, faculty, professors, Constitution, trustees

Transcript

“The Committee to whom was referred so much of the Rt. Rev’d. Bishops address as relates to the difficulties of Kenyon College, report finally, that they believe those difficulties and the embarrassments of the faculty have been occasioned chiefly by the want of a proper and efficient code of laws for the government of the institution; now having been hitherto ordained for that purpose by the competent authority unless some resolutions have for their object a subdelegation of these powers upon others may be considered such. But your Committee believe this to be plainly [re]pugnant to the fundamental law of the institution -- the Constitution. As early as 1825, the board of Trustees seem improvidently to have resolved this power might be exercised by the Bishop “reserving to themselves the power of repealing altering or amending any such rules or regulations.” And at the last session of the Board, it was resolved that the President ad Professors might temporarily exercise it. Each have originated in mistake, yet have contributed to occasion the difficulties and misunderstandings of the Faculty of the College.

“The remedy then is plain and easy, and must be obvious to every one. Your committee indulge the hope, it will be effectual to restore the former good understanding between the President and Professors, and that we shall [again] “how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell (and act) together in unity” Your committee have already indicated in their former report the necessity of such code of laws, as shall plainly define the duties, powers, functions and privileges of each, respectively, the President on the one hand and the Faculty or professors on the other.

If this shall be done by the board as we trust it will, it is not possible it should fail to have the effect expected. Altho the Rt. Rev. Bishop by the Constitution is ex officio, President of the College, yet as President, he cannot invoke his Episcopal functions or any powers or authority other than the customary functions of President and principal Professor of a Theological and Literary seminary aided by such as the board of trustees by law shall confer upon him. Indeed your Committee do not understand their good Bishop as claiming any other, or the contrary, they understand him as admitting distinctly the supreme authority of the board of Trustees, so that these laws are ot “contrary to the doctrines, discipline, constitution, and “Canons of the Church, or the course of study prescribed by the Bishops” This so obviously true that none could deny it and your Committee acknowledged, the pleasure and satisfaction, the recognition of it, by the Rt Bishop, in his address, afforded them. The exercise of a little patience by each, the President and the Faculty until the Board have leisure to act upon the subject, is all your committee deem it necessary to recommend to them, and of the following resolutions by the Convention.

Resolved, that as this Convention have only the right of altering and amending the Constitution of said College, and believe there is no occasion for the exercise of that authority, theCommittee is discharged from the further consideration of the subject and is referred to the Board of Trustees.

Resolved, that in the opinion of this convention the constitution is the only source from which the powers of the officers, both President and Professors, and Trustees are legitimately to be drawn, and that in the exercise of any authority by any of the co-ordinate powers, no [reference] is to be had to any other article, compact or charter.

Report of the committee appointed to investigate the difficulties at Kenyon College

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