Governance and Spirituality: The Profound Impact of Board Members’ Spiritual Health on the Institutions They Govern

Bordes Henry-Saturné, Andrews University


"Trustees of Adventist schools cannot afford to be capricious and arbitrary. They must not use their personal opinions to recommend discipline for employees or students. A couple of decades ago, a church school principal, one of the best educators in the conference, was summarily fired by the local school board because she ordered pizza for her students. The board members firmly believed that a “true Adventist” could not and would not have offered such “unhealthy food” to the students. In their righteous indignation, they voted to remove the principal from office, effective immediately. It took the firm intervention of the conference officers and a lot of wisdom to convince these board members that they needed to follow due process and that they were not allowed to dismiss an employee whose job was contracted by the conference. School boards can make recommendations for termination or dismissal, but ultimately the decision rests with the conference board of education and its representative, the education superintendent. Termination policies are stated in official denominational policies and government regulations."