A summary of the Atlantic Union constituency meeting, 
March 31, 1996, South Lancaster, MA, at the College Church.

This is a private summary of what went on at the meeting.  I was 
a delegate to the meeting and this is based on notes I took 
at the meeting, but should not be construed as an official record.

As a backdrop:  Key events occured in the week preceding the 
meeting which we as delegates from the New York Conference found
out about in a pre-session briefing that morning.  These actions
were voted by the Association board on last Thursday.  They included
granting a $3 million dollar loan to the college from $1 million of 
the union sinking fund, $1 million from Southern New England
conference reserves in the Revolving Fund, and $1 million from Northern
New England conference reserves in the Revolving Fund, pending
approval of their executive committee.  The New York Conference
had earlier taken an action not to make any of its funds available for
the purpose of this loan.  We were told that the Revolving Fund 
has $20 million in total assets and was 75% loaned out before these
actions were taken.  The other important action was that the association
board voted to assume the entire debt of Atlantic Union College
onto the Union books.  Most of that debt was owed to the Revolving
fund in any case.  These loans are said to be guaranteed by the tithe
percentages currently coming in from the conferences of the Atlantic
Union, and the subsidy to AUC will then be cut by the amount that is 
going into debt retirement.  The debts will be retired over 15 years.

The preliminaries began at 10:10 AM. 
T. Jones, President of the union gave the welcome and introduced
A. C. McClure of the NAD who gave the opening prayer, mentioning
in that prayer such things as "responsibility and privilege,
the hand of divine providence which provided the current educational
system, and the days of prayer and fasting which had recently been
undergone."  Jones then made a couple remarks of his recent visits
to chapel services noting that the faculty and students expressed
a real desire to follow Jesus.  He then introduced Rick Trott, the
campus chaplain, who in turn introduced the student speakers
for the devotional.

Daniel Sierra spoke on the idea
of death to self, using the illustration  "whosoever falls on it [the 
stone] will be broken."  [applause].  Then there were two testimonials,
one from Joel Satelmajer, SA VP, recalling the stories of the 
walls of Jericho falling down, pointing out, like the gospel,
AUC's debt has "already been forgiven".  He said this is not about
Black vs. White but God's children vs. the devil. [applause]
He pointed out that the faculty could be elsewhere making more, and
they don't want to lose the school.  Dionne Cambridge, a senior, 
spoke of various ways she had also grown, and told of her journey
in faith of financing her education.[applause]  Two musical numbers were then
given, one by the small singing group Face 2 Face "Jesus is All 
The World To Me" [applause], and one by the Black Christian Union
choir "Hold On."[applause]  The session was then devided into a season
of prayer with all the delegates meeting in small groups to pray.

At 10:57 the call of the meeting was read, it was explained by Alvin
Goulbourne, the secretary, that this meeting was called on 3 weeks notice 
and thus was not printed in any of the SDA journals as such.
Jones made a short statement to the effect that the past months have
been very difficult, with struggle in committees and prayer.
Andrews University had withdrawn from consideration until AUC
established a clear direction.  Unique things need to happen.

J. Londis, president of AUC, gave the history of how the current financial
situation came to be.  Although his speech was much the same as 
the one given 3 weeks ago, I repeat the major details here.  
He stressed that his was not a pleasant report.  Small private colleges
suffer as the government financial aid funding has shifted from 60%
grants and 40% loans to 35% grants and 65% loans.  A Harvard consultant
estimates that 400 to 600 small private colleges will close by the 
year 2000  (1 in 6).  Recruitment is highly competitive.  AUC's 
constituency has lowest per capita income of any in North America.
Evangelistic efforts tell about the SDA education system, and the impression
exists that SDA's have an entitlement to Christian education.

In 92-93 school year, Londis was on the board as an alumni representative
and was warned at that time that the school was essentially bankrupt
and that there was at that time $2-3 million in deferred maintenance
cost.  Later that year he was approached about taking the presidency of AUC.
He first asked for cash up front to turn the college around.  When 
this was not forthcoming, he delayed the decision but finally accepted
the job.  When he arrived in January '94, he faced a crisis of confidence
with the music program.  He warned union of the trouble.  The dining
commons project was not fully funded but they were forced to go
ahead with it to avoid losing the major donor, significant borrowing
was necessary.  In Fall of '94, another enrollment drop forced
them to borrow $2 million to get through 94-95, a violation of
NAD working policy.  At this point they developed the AUC 2000 
restructuring program with $700K savings.  The March 15 date came
at which time they had to sign contracts for all faculty for the next year
and they were urged to do so by the Union leadership. 

In summer '95 they met their first cash crunch and were forced to dip
into the endowment funds to meet payroll.  {Missing a payroll would
result in a fine of triple damages, lifting of accreditation, and 
therefore the closing of the school}.  This process was repeated
on several other occasions until the endowment funds were exhausted.
The extensive recruitment effort of summer '95 produced a gain to 447 
students but at the expense of overspending the scholarship budget to 
get the students there. 
In the current climate it is impossible to borrow either from outside
banks or from NAD.   

Mark Hyder continued with the financial report.  Stephen Blake,
the outside auditor, began his remarks with prayer.  He mentioned that it 
is a grave situation, likening it to crossing the Jordan--the water is 
swift--but it will part.  "As the world would see it, you have no
sure revenue stream.  No bank will touch it.  You give 27% discount
on average on your product.  Market is in general decline, you have 
no endowment, and high debt services as well as deferred maintenance 
liability.  If ever there was a place where God could work, this is it."
He remarked that the situation of no revenue, no market, and no customers,
was worse than the federal government.  He pointed out that the 
$3 million loan only gets us to September 96, and then who could 
you depend on?  You've got a great program... why isn't it selling?
He pointed out whatever decision you make you have to live with it 
for 15 years.  Need an "eggs and bacon committment"  (the chicken 
is partly committed but the hog is committed all the way).

Mark Hyder continued with the current financial picture.  Up to Jan. 31
they had lost $1.9 million.  Debt service is currently 13% of the budget.
Applications are up this year, however, from this time last year.
Problem:  Only 31% of the Atlantic Union students choose AUC
[and almost none from outside the union do.]  The high default rate
previously reported on Stafford loans has now decreased, electronic
fund transfers from the US Department of Education should begin again soon.
He also mentioned the actions of the union association above
to assume all of the current debt, which will improve their chances
of showing administrative capacity for financial aid.

Mr. Lugenbeal of the college faculty went over the draft budget in
detail.  He pointed out that administration of a college is different
from other organizations because so much of the educational policy
decisions are delegated to the faculty and went on to 
describe the work of the taskforce, which at first had been two taskforces,
one to explore merger and one to explore staying alive alone, but
the two taskforces merged when it became apparent that the real task
was staying alive during 96-97.  Their goal was to save $4.5 million
in expenditures, or 40% of this year's $11.7 million budget. A large
part of this is done by a reduction in force of 40 employees (about 40%)
Goals were to 
1) maximize program preservation
2) Implement AUC 2000 restructuring plan
3) keep quality of campus life
4) keep the core day program
5) not jeopardize the intercultural mission

It is claimed that the cuts don't drop any majors.
Currently AUC student-faculty ratio is 8:1  will raise it to 11:1.
Staff cuts to bring the staff:faculty ratio to 1:1.
The electronic distance learning program is eliminated due to extensive losses.
They will budget on 400 FTE's, reengineer staff job descriptions,
and outsource some functions.  After recommending all the cuts,
they were still $850K out of balance, so they took the extra 
steps of 
1)  Following the past pattern at AUC and taking all the depreciation
    funds into the budget and borrowing them from the plant fund
    and putting on the bottom line.  Net result:  no money for
    plant maintenance or repair
2)  Cutting the scholarship account, down to $800K.  They described
    this as a $300K cut* (but see analysis section)
3)  An automatically triggered faculty pay cut of up to 17%
    to allow for drop to 350 students.
This is a survival budget and these drastic measures can be in effect
for one year only.

At the close of this report, Duane Cady rose to question if a quorum
was present, since the secretary had not announced that at the beginning
of the meeting.  The secretary announced that of the 350 regular
delegates authorized to be at the meeting, 212 were present, thus
just making the quorum of 210.  A further question was raised in that
many of those people had not been present at the beginning of the meeting,
in fact the last few had just walked in a couple minutes before,
having been drafted from the balcony from the Southern New England Conference
among others.  The chair, on advice from the parliamentarian, ruled
that the presentations to date had been informational only and that
a quorum now having been reached the meeting was now ruled open and had
a quorum.  [After lunch the secretary announced that the appropriate
conference executive committees, being present at the session, had
voted to name these people official delegates, a provision required
by the constitution and bylaws].

Mark Hyder continued the presentation of the budget, noting that some
of the numbers had only been final the previous night, also that they
had done their best to work with the "alternative proposal committee"
of Will Kitching whose proposal had been voted by the college constituency
3 weeks earlier.  He went over a large number of the assumptions
in the budget, including a reduction of 30 full time financial equivalents,
17% pay cut should enrollment decline, that the increase of tuition
and fees and cut in scholarship would not affect ability to attract students,
(this was a key concern in his mind).  He also pointed out that in 
this plan there is no safety net, only a few hundred dollars left
over at the end of the year. 

At this point (12:57 PM) the meeting recessed for lunch.  It reopened with 
prayer at 2:15 PM.  Jones introduced the NAD officers in attendance
McClure, Crumley, Lindsey, Osborn, Hodges.

Dr. Londis then gave a second talk on the positive case for AUC.
1) Important role in history and tradition of SDA's
2) If it would close students would certainly be lost to SDA education,
	thus to the church
3) over time there would be a erosion of professional support.
4) Graduates have distinguished themselves at best law schools and
	professional schools; alumni include G. Ralph Thompson,
	Lesher, Camacho, W. Allen (of UNCF), Niedermeyer, and many more.
5) AUC is the major institution of this union
6) Small colleges are the cutting edge of creativity
7) AUC has large emphasis on intercultural programs and an emphasis
	on faith and learning.
8) Most students are from segregated churches and conferences,
	at AUC they are learning to live together
9) AUC provides teacher certification to the Atlantic Union teachers,
	and also Andrews University summer programs in education.
10)  New England location
11)  Hardworking faculty and staff, committed students
12)  Problem is one of perception... if we can eliminate the perception
     that AUC will close, then the school will be viable.

A.C. Mcclure then gave remarks from NAD. [this is a condensation
of his remarks]
He remarked how he was pleased to be here and join in seeking ways.
It was his 4th trip in the past 6 weeks.  He says it would be a 
tragedy if the school had no future.  He made a point to "disabuse
our minds of the myth" that the NAD had a agenda to close AUC. 
"Our agenda is your agenda," he said .  The future of small colleges
is in question and we may have to close some to survive, but no 
one body in NAD can make that decision; we do not have a system and
have no authority over the colleges, it rests in the hands of 
the constituents.  

It is incumbent to make a decision on viability, and with ownership
comes responsibility.  AUC cannot continue down present course.  The
union has assumed the debt but don't let that fool you, because
there is also a reduction of subsidy.  It is a tenuous budget, a number
of assumptions any one of which if not met could lead to problems.
There is no safety net, a decaying physical plant--with this budget
we use buckets for leaking roof.

He struggled to make this statement "in the kindest context"
There is an unsupportive constituency...more students from the Atlantic
Union go to other colleges than go to AUC, and only in one conference
is that not true.  (AUC 31%, Oakwood 28%, Andrews 22%, Southern 13%, CUC 6%)
60% of the constituency has dual college loyalties.  That's the
way it is, and the support for Oakwood  [from Northeastern] is legimate.
The faculty is paid below denominational standards, could lead
to moral problems, several times they have run out of cash.
The solution here is temporary and immediate--we cannot permit this
institution to incur more debt--closer to $11 million total debt.
Regardless of the decision made here, unless the issues are
squarely faced, AUC will close, and the liability will increase exponentially.
Doesn't require a vote...automatic if they can't make the payroll.

He believes there is a future for AUC, and you have to have faith
in God, but "Faith without works is dead."  God works through
you and me.  The decision must be seen in the true light that you are voting
simultaneously to accept responsibility.  There is no Santa Claus.
Must get involved in an aggressive enrollment campaign.  Will this college
survive?  Will the constituency rally to financial support of the college?
Are we willing to be God's instrument?

At this point Jones asked to address the constituency from the speakers
podium and asked McClure to take the chair of the meeting, which he did.
His remarks began that he was a believer in Atlantic Union College,
pointing out that three of his own children had attended and one
had graduated.  He wanted to make tribute to the faculty and staff [applause]
and noted that the young people get along so beautifully [applause].
God has not forsaken Atlantic Union College, and it is time to put resources
where the speeches are.  Used to be that the Atlantic Union meetings
were not the rainbow coalition that they are today but still are all 
brothers and sisters in Christ.  [applause].  

We can beat this challenge but need to raise $1 million a year extra 
above what is in the budget.  He went over a purple document
(which I have unfortunately misplaced) but basically recapped all the
solutions that had been given in the morning talks..  Also noted that
he had received notification from the administration of Loma Linda
University "LLU feels that we cannot stand by idly if we can help it."
and asked us to show appreciation for that. [applause].  A committee of 
5000 has been formed, each donor to give $200 apiece, the effort
led by Glen and Paul Smith.

At this point Mr. Velazquez of Greater New York stood and asked why
the meeting had not been informed of Dr. Londis' resignation and what
plans were being laid to get a new president in place at the earliest
possible interval.  The response was that the board will meet that 
evening to start the search process for a president and VP.s

Jones continued that the students haven't waited but have organized
fundraising and recruitment efforts of their own.

Mr. Wade of SNEC stood and made a concern at this time.  Believed
that AUC's problems are fixable but we ought to be following the 
counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy more closely.  Wants AUC to survive
but in a way that brings glory to God.  He said that the sports program
should be looked at very seriously.  [applause]

Mr. Case, president of SNEC rose to move action #1 on the salmon sheet
which had just been handed to the delegates at that time, namely
that AUC remain open and that the constituency bear the risk for its
continued operation.  The motion was seconded.

Mr. Franks, a Bermuda delegate and student association president of AUC,
rose to point out that the students do love their college, and had
the students in the balcony stand as a show of support.  Walkathon
and food festival are planned in the next couple weeks, and students
will go to any church that will have them next week when the offering
for AUC is taken up.

Mr. Cady of New York stood and moved to amend the motion that 
the school close after the 96-97 year if borrowing was necessary
or they did not get 400 students or they can't make payroll.  Seconded.
A point of order was raised as to the appropriateness of the amendment
but it was ruled in order.

Mrs. Debbie Foote of New York and Mr S. Timm of New York spoke in favor
of the amendment, S. Timm asking for a clarification if the phrase
"obtain $3 million to operate next year" which appeared in several
of the documents referred to the $3 million that was already voted
or a new loan for 96-97, it was clarified that it was the $3 million
that was already voted and that it was for getting through
the current school year.

Mr Smith of GNY asked the chair to reconsider the point of order,
also noted that such an amendment ignored the willingness of the 
faculty to take a pay cut, killing their desire.  [applause]

Lankhorne of Bermuda suggested that some don't want the place to succeed.

Romeo of GNY pointed out that the amendment would be a marketing
disaster  "like going into battle telling the soldiers they are all
going to drop dead before the battle starts.".. a "death knell.'

Mr. Coston (trust services, New York) raised the point that it
was not the amendment that would be the death knell but lack of students
and lack of money.  If any one of the seventeen contingencies were not
met, the college would borrow again, and which conference would be 
able to bail them out.  NY conf. had obtained a legal opinion that they
would have to inform their trustors with investments in the revolving fund
that the revolving fund had made a loan on behalf of Atlantic Union College,
which is not a going concern.

Mcclure replied from the chair that the loan is guaranteed since the 
conferences subsidies (a percentage of their tithe...5% from SNEC,
4% from Bermuda, NNEC, NY, 2% from Northeastern) are dedicated to repaying
that debt.  Coston replied guaranteed is not the same as secured.

Wellington of NY likened the current situation to the battle of Stalingrad
in World War II where Hitler lost the battle and the war because he
was unwilling to admit defeat.

Robinson from Northeastern made remarks to the effect of 
"The battle is the Lords.  Stop looking at the difficulties." [applause]

Browning noted "this is a day to make Caleb and Joshua proud of us."

Nancy{last name not noted} of NNEC wondered if 400 students was a realistic
number and one the college could achieve.

At this point the chair called for a vote on the amendment.  Cady
rose to try to change his amendment but the chair insisted on a vote;
the amendment failed overwhelmingly.  Cady then proposed a new amendment
that required closure of the college only if more borrowing was necessary.

Romeo of GNY spoke again, decrying the fact that AUC was the only college
without a full-page color ad in the Insight college issue, but
noted again that if the amendment passes, again it would be a 
marketing disaster...Time to stop talking about closing.  [applause]
The second amendment was also voted and failed.

Steve Salisbury of SNEC, associate pastor of the college church,
made a call for respect for God's sanctuary at this time.

At this point the motion was made to include #2 and #3 of the recommendations
(namely #2 being the constituency taking responsibility for fundraising
of $1 million a year above that which is budgeted, and #3 to continue
to explore other affiliations).  this was seconded.

The chair (still McClure) asked Case to clarify point #1 (what it meant for the 
constituency to assume the risk of operating the college).
He remarked that we recognize that there may be hard times, but we
as constituents will do everything in our power for fundraising.

McClure remarked, without specificity, this kind of action is meaningless.
"everybodys business is nobody's business."  He strongly suggested
that language should be added to the motion that obligations for borrowing
and fundraising should be divided among the conferences on a tithe-proportional

Case remarked that he believed that that is exactly what will happen anyway
but would let someone else add that language to the motion.

Gatz of NY rose to speak that as a member of the NY executive committee
that the NY conference could not accept any higher percentages.

Carruthers of SNEC moved to amend the motion to include the language
suggested by the chair.  It was seconded.

Klinger of NY asked if such a thing was constitutionally allowed..whether
a vote of the constituency could obligate the conferences.  The answer
given by the adminstration (Thomassian) appeared to be yes.

Houston (first name) of SNEC rose to say that with  75000 people
a million dollars a year should not be a big thing to raise.

Skip Bell (president of NY) pointed out that we do not know all the 
financial conditions of our sister conferences, that although he didn't 
know all the details for northeastern, he urged the delegates 
not to strike at the existence of the organization.

Jones (who had resumed the chair unannounced by this time)  pointed out
that indeed AUC is not the only institution in trouble.

Smith of GNY suggested, there are many ways to raise money, but
why can't we appeal to the division and world field for help.
It is time to "look to mama", he said (using an interesting anecdote).

Carruthers of SNEC:  What is policy at a cash shortfall of the Atlantic Union.
Thomassian's reply--that has never happened.

Neville G. of GNY spoke in support, pointing out he has put $90000
tuition in so far for 5 kids.

Harris S. asked was any further fundraising done since Mar. 10.  Jones
pointed to the plans for the AUC offering April 6 and the committee of

Since the willingness of the faculty to undergo the 17% pay cut
had been questioned, a faculty member rose to speak in support of that.

DePalma (treas. NNEC) rose again to ask if the vote taken here 
could bind the conferences, and again the answer from Thomassian was yes.

Gene Thomas of NY pointed out that since all of this had come up 
so fast we were not ready to vote, and moved to table.
Points of order were rapidly raised as to legality.
The chair pointed out that tonight was the deadline for contracts
and as he was speaking some rose to point of order, claiming motion
to table is not debatable.  The parliamentarian ruled that the 
motion to table was out of order, a motion to suspend indefinitely
would be in order but was fully debatable.  However the motion 
died for lack of a second.

Baldwin of GNY spoke of the need to have faith [applause]

Hills of GNY questioned the stewardship of union officers in delaying
this meeting until the debt had run so high, questioned their leadership
and alleged malfeasance.

At this point question was called on the amendment.  The chair
called for a voice vote and ruled the amendment failed.  Some called
for a show of hands, which was carried out, with the amendment 
passing 100-97.  Brooks of NE conf. rose to say that NE conf had voted
as a conf. against the amendment.  It was then recommended that we
re-vote again with ballots.  This was done and the vote was 100 yes
107 no, the amendment failed.

Debate then shifted back to the main motion.
Cady asked for clarification...where does the $1 million come from?
Londis said the union is accepting the risk.

Brooks stood to support the motion, said it is time for creative ideas,
an educational secretary in each church, with job description to visit
the college, become acquainted with it, and bring at least one student.

A. Rodriguez of GNY called question on the motion, and vote happened
with ballots.  The final total was 169-40 in favor of the motion.

Shirley (first name) made a call for revival and reformation,
Griffin of GNY called for a new president and spirit-filled leadership
and a way to address the development vacuum, possibly at the union level.
Campbell asked how the PR, promotion, and development would be paid
for when it wasn't in the budget.  Reply was that it was in the 
budget at some level

There was then a motion to adjourn, which carried.  The meeting ended
at approximately 6 PM.