The Words of the Panzer Family

Summary of events surrolunding Richard Panzer's resignation as president of Unification Theological Seminary

January 8, 2015

The UTS board finally voted last night on the questions of letting Richard Panzer go and appoint Hugh Spurgin as acting president.

The vote to relieve Panzer of his position as UTS president was 9-4.

The vote to appoint Dr. Hugh Spurgin as Acting President was 8 yes, 2 no, 2 abstentions with Dr. Spurgin recusing himself from the vote.

Here's a summary of events since December 1, 2014

On that date HSA issued its demand that the UTS board decide to close the 4 year program (the College) by June, dismiss Richard Panzer and appoint Hugh Spurgin as Acting President. The UTS board would not comply, and HSA reps, seeing that they did not have the votes, canceled the UTS board meeting they had called on this matter. After meeting with True Mother, they then changed their policy and said they and True Mother were not, after all, opposed to keeping the College open and that True Mother had instructed HSA and the UTS board to work together to move UTS forward, including keeping the College open if it is feasible to do so.

However, HSA stated that True Mother still wanted Richard to step down and Hugh to take over at least temporarily as Acting President. Negotiations then were undertaken to secure written promises from HSA to the effect that:

1. They would continue funding at current levels at least through June,

2. That they no longer opposed the idea of keeping the College open and

3. That UTS would institute an immediate search for a permanent president after appointing Hugh as acting president

There was a good deal of wrangling over the last month or so, with maneuvers keep HSA employees on the UTS board from voting, legal opinions as to whether proposed actions would be proper, petitions from an unprecedented large number of members in support of Richard and the College, and a lively debate on the internet. Meanwhile, Richard offered to resign, but only after a permanent replacement was found and some other points (some of which HSA was willing to comply with). HSA would not bend, however, on the question of Richard's immediate resignation and Hugh's appointment as acting president, which they said were directly requested by True Mother.

So in the end it came to a vote: Richard wrote a very nice letter last night, gracefully agreeing to accept the Board's decision. 

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