From the official announcement:

In a special meeting on March 17, the Institute’s Board of Directors agreed unanimously to delay any change in the Institute’s mission statement whatever the outcome of the balloting. The Directors agreed that a wide-ranging and fully open debate led by the membership will provide the guidance needed to shape any change, if necessary. Directors and staff are now considering options for engaging the membership in this discussion, and will have further information available shortly.

Some quick thoughts:
– A win for the members, but it isn’t over yet – this is the current BoD buying time.
– In case the BoD missed it, there has been a pretty vigorous debate already over the proposed change – it just wasn’t directed or controlled by the BoD and grew out of the Navy milblog insurgency and the the Editorial Board’s dissent.
– More work lies ahead, and more commentary to come. Our job isn’t over and this is no time for a victory lap. In particular, the surreptitious manner in which the BoD tried to sneak this by without open discussion and debate is especially egregious, was openly contemptuous of the membership and calls into question whether, as currently constituted, it should be allowed to continue. More to come on that topic.
In the days and weeks to come this discussion will continue – and we want you to be part of it. Be thinking about what a future BoD should look like, if the TR Center for the Study of Seapower is a good idea (just poorly conceived) – and what role it should play, if any, in the future USNI.
Dare to think, speak and write — we’ll be here to listen and debate. Openly.
Keep the faith…

2 Comments

  1. John Byron

    Comments all good. Keeping Tom Wilkerson on as CEO is another priority – he’s the guy who got the Institute back from the brink of bankruptcy and through the Great recession intact – they fired him for being dead-nuts right on the mission statement and doing his job well in advising the Board about it.

    The TR Center was a good idea when first brought forward inside the Institute, as an adjunct to the Institute. This whole flab arose when the Board thought it such a good idea that it wanted to make it into the Institute itself. Good idea/bad idea.

  2. Glad to learn that the BoD has revisited the issue of the mission change on the ballot. There remains the actual counting of the ballots, the tallying of the results, and its announcement. If this is done in an open manner, my faith in the Institute will be somewhat restored. There is more work to be done, insofar as the constitution of the Board and the stance of the Editorial Board are concerned. SJS is correct is saying that this is not the time for a victory lap. An aroused membership is still the best defense against the dilution or diversion of the Naval Institute’s mission. We may yet need an open petition to call for the revocation of Tom Wilkerson’s release. More to follow.

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