[sticklist] - VFOG Petition Announced
rforno at infowarrior.org
Fri Feb 27 15:02:24 UTC 2009
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The following was just received from the Valley Forge Old Guard, and
is being passed along as an FYI. Please note that should I be made
aware of any appropriate response from the VFMAC leadership to this
petition by the VFOG, I will pass that along to the Sticklist as well.
Rick Forno '90 '92C
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Dear Alumni and Friends of Valley Forge:
We believe Valley Forge Military Academy and College has one last
chance for survival as a military school, but that survival cannot
happen, in our opinion, without the prompt resignation of Mr. Charles
A. McGeorge, as President. If Mr. McGeorge refuses to resign, we
believe he must, therefore, be removed from office by those
responsible for the well-being of the school which is the Board of
Let's take a brief look at the McGeorge record:
* Mr. McGeorge has single-handedly alienated the vast alumni body with
his attitude and by his actions. The McGeorge administration seems to
distrust alumni and consistently refuses advice or valid offers of
assistance no matter how sincere the offer.
* Enrollment continues to decline; the retention of enrolled cadets is
poor by any measurement standard.
* Alumni giving is far below normal; many alumni have dropped their
membership in the Society of the Golden Sword, a strong indicator of
profound displeasure. Alumni giving has no chance for improvement if
the McGeorge administration remains in office.
* Even with declining enrollment, McGeorge's staff and staff salaries
continued to increase.
* In 4 1/2 years over 160 members of the staff and faculty have left
Valley Forge for various reasons. During that same time the McGeorge
administration has had six commandants; 4 College deans and 4 Academy
deans, some of whom were not qualified to be appointed dean.
* Only four young alumni ('86, '96C, '00C, '01C) remain on the staff
after Mr. McGeorge systematically eliminated the older alumni with
years of experience from employment.
* The administration lacks any sense of Valley Forge history or
* The administration now rewards new cadets who attended other
military schools with rank, some of whom we believe, never experienced
the Valley Forge plebe system.
* Vast sums of money have been diverted and squandered on frivolous
law suits designed to keep dissenting alumni from expressing their
opinions of the administration.
* Many traditional aspects of cadet life have been abandoned or
ignored by the administration.
* There are a reduced number of 2nd mess inspections or 3rd Mess
formations and only one Retreat formation per week. Some weekday
messes are optional!
* The training of new cadets in the basics, coupled with a lack of
experience in the cadet chain of command, has been so poorly
conducted that older alumni had to be brought in to teach a refresher
course on the proper fitting of cross belts!
* The Alumni Association operates at the pleasure of the Board of
Trustees and the administration; all Alumni Association activities are
vetted and closely monitored by the BOT. Therefore, the AA is severely
restrained in dealing with alumni issues and concerns and has been
reduced to being puppets and propagandists for the administration and
the Board of Trustees.
* By any measurement standard Valley Forge is worse off today than
before Mr. McGeorge took over in late 2004. It is time for a new
President who values alumni support and it is time for a complete
shake-up of the Board of Trustees. Absent the removal of Mr. McGeorge
from office, there will be no broad-based alumni support.
When Mr. McGeorge became President, he was convinced by outside
consultants that change was needed to break what he perceived as years
of stagnation. He decided to go far beyond the British influence that
General Baker had been fond of and discretely used in application.
After a tsunami of unnecessary changes were made by the
administration, many of which trampled age-old traditions, the Alumni
became increasingly upset with the changes and the man behind the
changes by openly protesting and criticizing Mr. McGeorge and his
administration. A number of alumni websites opened expressing complete
displeasure with Mr. McGeorge. He incorrectly assumed that all alumni
were against him. Consequently, he broke off communications and
cooperation with alumni, in general, and the Alumni Association in
particular. The most recent slate of officers of the Alumni
Association have tried valiantly to mend the fences, but the serious
damage has been done resulting in little or no alumni respect for Mr.
McGeorge and many of the key figures of his administration.
Recently, the New Mexico Military Institute was in similar perilous
circumstances. Their alumni rose to the challenge and pressured their
Board of Regents to remove their Superintendent and get the school
back to stable and traditional military school management. With the
help of our alumni we, too, can restore Valley Forge to her previous
condition of excellence and a military school without peer.
Since October 2007, we have made repeated attempts to open a workable
dialog with the Board of Trustees and the administration in a joint
effort to return the school to her core values and reinstate the
traditions and customs lost over the past several years. Our offers
for conciliatory discussions have been met with a deafening silence,
legal harassment, hyperbole, and a general lack of willingness on the
part of the administration and the trustee leadership to listen to the
legitimate grievances of concerned alumni.
We, therefore, have no other alternative than to bring this crucial
matter of the school's declining condition and the concomitant threat
to its survival before the entire alumni body and ask that you visit
our website, read the "Petition for Removal" and sign it. On the
"Petition for Removal" tab on the website, you will find all of the
supporting documentation to include the correspondence between the
Valley Forge Old Guard counsel and the Board of Trustees and their
attorney, along with the February 5th letter.
With a strong alumni response to the petition, the support of the news
media and influential friends in the attorney-general's office in
Harrisburg, we can be as successful as New Mexico Military Institute
in restoring Valley Forge to the excellence it once enjoyed. We
believe this is our last opportunity and our best hope to save Valley
Forge from further decline and possible closure.
Please visit our web site, review the documentation, and sign the
petition so that we can put forth our efforts toward a solution in a
timely manner, hopefully by Homecoming. If you have questions about
the current situation or the petition process, please contact me by
email and I will make every effort to answer your questions. To
preserve the integrity of the petition process, only one signature per
IP address will be accepted.
Peter B. Robinson, '59 D Troop
Valley Forge Old Guard, Inc.
info at valleyforgeoldguard.org
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Comment: Rick's Current Public Key @ http://infowarrior.org/pgpkey.txt
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