Statement from Ohio Conference on January 11 Constituency Meeting Results
The following is an update from the Ohio Conference after the January 11 Constituency Meeting on Mount Vernon Academy.
MVA - Update #6
January 11, 2015 - Constituency Meeting Results
Dear Ohio Conference Family and Friends,
Delegates to the specially called constituency meeting about the future of Mount Vernon Academy (MVA) on January 11 voted to adopt a process that the conference will carry out over the next few months. Essentially it says that MVA needs to raise a total of $3 million by March 10, 2015, or will cease operations at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
This was by no means an easy decision, but the 340 delegates in attendance who came together and heard the reports on the finances, enrollment and needs of the beloved academy, courageously and prayerfully voted—257 for, 82 opposed—to accept the December 2, 2014, recommendation of the Ohio Conference Executive Committee (EXCOM), which states:
“WHEREAS, EXCOM has received the findings and recommendations presented by the Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC), and
“WHEREAS, EXCOM has received the MVA Board of Trustees (BOT) action dated December 1, 2014, and
“WHEREAS, EXCOM places great value on providing long-term Adventist secondary education for the constituents of the Ohio Conference…
“EXCOM recommends accepting the BOT action dated December 1, 2014, with the following changes/additions to its benchmarks…
- Raise $1.5M by February 10, 2015
- Raise $1.5M by March 10, 2015
- Any sale of real estate assets restricted to debt reduction and capital improvements and not current operations.
“In the event these benchmarks are met, EXCOM recommends the following:
- Develop long-term vision and action plans by March 15, 2015, that will provide steps and strategies for a sustainable future of the academy, encompassing the three core components of leadership, enrollment and finances, as identified by the BRC.
- EXCOM Personnel Committee will conduct an assessment of current administration and faculty and make the necessary recommendations regarding continued employment or change.
“In the event the benchmarks are NOT met by March 10, 2015, EXCOM recommends the following:
- MVA and its BOT will immediately begin the process necessary to cease operation of the academy by the end of the 2014-15 school year.
- EXCOM will develop alternative options for secondary education for current and future Ohio Conference students including funding options and scholarships.”
Leaders Remain Committed to Secondary Education
It takes $3 million to operate Mount Vernon Academy annually. If that money can be raised by March 10, 2015, the school would enter the 2015-16 school year debt free with the necessary working capital. If the money is not raised, we will have to take the necessary steps to cease operations.
Whatever happens, secondary education remains a priority in the Ohio Conference, and we will continue to seek ways to provide the opportunity for our young people to access quality, Adventist Christian education. In the meantime, we will continue to lend strong financial oversight of MVA’s operations to ensure financial prudence.
The situation with MVA has precipitated a conversation about Adventist education that we will continue to pursue---with union and division leadership and locally within the Ohio Conference family. Together we need to figure out how to make Adventist education viable---now and in the future. As we seek alternative options, it will take more prayer, study, idea sharing and conversations like we had at the three December town hall meetings and today’s specialconstituency meeting.
Leaders Request Prayer and Support
As we have done since we became aware of the needs of MVA, we will continue to post updates on our conference website at www.ohioadventist.org, Facebook page and in the Visitor magazine.
To lend your financial support to MVA and secondary education at this critical time, please contact Ohio Conference interim treasurer Lyle Litzenberger at (740) 397-4665, firstname.lastname@example.org or Ohio Conference, PO Box 1230, Mount Vernon, OH 43050. Donations can also be made online at www.ohioadventist.org (earmarked for “secondary education---special”).
Friends, please continue to keep the students and staff of MVA in prayer, and join us in seeking God’s direction for secondary education in the Ohio Conference.
Thank you and God bless you,
Ron Halvorsen Jr, President