The Board of Directors met on February 23 and 24 to discuss and vote on various issues at Goshen College.
One of the decisions the board made was to accept roughly $160,000 in gifts that Goshen College donors left the college in their wills.
The board also decided to pass a new plan entitled Grow Goshen 2020. This plan establishes the priorities the college will be looking to work on for the next five years. The ultimate goal this plan lists is that “GC will reach sustained enrollment growth made up of students open to faith and learning from an Anabaptist perspective and reflective of the diversity present in our region, church, and world.”
The plan consists of seven goals that are ultimately aimed at growing the enrollment of Goshen College. These goals focus on things like making a more comprehensive marketing plan to recruit more students, adapting programs in order to continue to attract and retain “key subgroups of students,” hiring a more diverse staff to expose students to different cultures and support students from different cultures, strengthening academic programs to better prepare students for their careers and growing non-traditional programs.
Finally, before the board met, they were addressed by Open Letter representatives in an attempt to get the board to make a decision on the hiring policy. President Brenneman commented that “[the students] did an amazing job of holding their opinion forth to the board to try to convince them to change the policy in a very creative way.” However, the board reaffirmed their decision to wait until Mennonite Church USA makes a decision on their stance on homosexuality and the church this summer at the MCUSA convention in Kansas City.
According to Brenneman, the decision to wait until after MCUSA decides on the official stance of the church regarding non-celibate homosexual leaders was due to the divisiveness of the issue. Brenneman acknowledged that there is a chance that the denomination will split no matter what the decision. “Since GC or any other school making a change would be in technical noncompliance with the Confession of Faith and our Covenants with the Church, the Board of MEA (our liaison board to the denomination) asked our Board not to decide until after the assembly was over, since a decision either way would exacerbate the situation even more. Out of respect for the process, even though it has been long and tedious, our board agreed to postpone their decision until after the assembly out of respect for the leadership of the church, the process of discernment and the critical nature of the whole church at this time.”