From: ISM Board [BoardMailbox@ismanila.com]
01 September 2006
Dear Parents, Leadership Team, Faculty and Staff,
As many of you are aware, and the Board sincerely regrets, two members of the Board of Trustees, Burke Fishburn and Rowina Tan-Saban, resigned for personal reasons effective 25 August 2006 and 31 August 2006, respectively. Mr. Fishburn and Ms. Tan-Saban have both indicated that they intend to remain active within the community. We thank them for their generous service to both the school and community members.
We are aware of speculation within the community regarding Mr. Fishburn and Ms. Tan-Saban's action. The Board believes it is not beneficial to either the school or stakeholders to indulge in such an exercise. Mr. Fishburn has indicated that he does not wish to engage in any type of forum to discuss his action or the underlying reasons. However, Mr. Fishburn may have such private personal dialogue with members of the community as he wishes, and of course this applies to Mrs. Tan-Saban as well.
The Board has received written requests, signed by approximately 20 families, to inspect and copy Mr. Fishburn's private communication to the Board. The Board discussed this matter in our meeting on August 30. Under Philippine Law, members' right to corporate documents is not absolute. Given this situation the Board feels that the legal issues raised by the existing requests and any other request to inspect and copy any and all communications received by the Board need to be considered prior to any action. The Board notes that the content of Mr. Fishburn's communication is already in the public domain. The Board also recognizes that Mr. Fishburn and Ms. Tan-Saban are free to disseminate the content of their letters as they see fit.
In line with these facts, the Board tasked the Legal Committee to consider the issues arising from the existing requests and future similar requests to inspect and copy communications to the Board. A recommendation will then be submitted by the Legal Committee to the Board for deliberation and decision on its action on the matter. As soon as a decision is reached, the Board will provide its response. Due to the vacancies on the Board resulting from Mr. Fishburn and Ms. Tan-Saban's resignations, the Board will very shortly schedule a special meeting to discuss them.
In the face of all these events, many have conveyed their concerns about the state of the Board. We have taken note of the personal reasons for Mr. Fishburn's and Ms. Tan-Saban's resignations, and we will consider the issues they raise within the Board in a manner that will be constructive for the continued operations of both the School and the Board. We remain committed to the mission and core beliefs of the school, to a successful search for a new superintendent, and to the WASC/CIS accreditation renewal process. All of you have, and will continue to have, the opportunity to participate in these vital projects. Most of all, we will continue towards improving ourselves as a Board in order to fully support the whole community in achieving the wider goal of a top quality education for our children.