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TIAA Releases Admin Emails Revealing Falsehoods; Group Blasts Continuing Resistance To Reform

Monday, May 5, 2014  
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For Immediate Release
May 5, 2014

Contact: Michael Anthony Scerbo
Phone: 602 615 6523

Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association Releases Administration Emails Revealing Falsehoods; Group Blasts Continuing Resistance To Reform; Again Requests Resignations

(GLENDALE, Ariz.)  Transparency, reform and honesty are three words the current Thunderbird School of Global Management Board of Trustees continues to treat as foreign concepts, according to the Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association (TIAA). 

TIAA was formed last year to oppose the Board’s ill-conceived idea to merge with for-profit diploma mill Laureate.  The Higher Learning Commission ultimately agreed with TIAA that this was a bad partnership and rejected the proposal after overwhelming opposition from the prestigious school’s alumni. 

Following a recent meeting in San Francisco between the groups, initiated by TIAA, the school issued a statement about the talks failing, the veracity of which would make the most audacious public relations practitioner blush. 

But rather than engage in a war of words, TIAA is releasing the full email correspondence between the parties to show the truth and allow all interested parties to judge for themselves the extent to which the administration will attempt to obfuscate its dead-end approach to governing.

“In the wake of even more Board of Trustees’ resignations we cannot understand why those who put Thunderbird in such an unfortunate and disappointing position want to cling to power rather than step aside and allow the reforms and resources necessary to help our beloved alma mater,” said TIAA Executive Director, Will Counts class of 2009. 

The organization recently offered to make the largest cash donation in the school’s history to help right Thunderbird’s finances. 

Yet, after meeting in San Francisco, the administration refused requests to include language about the integrity of that which they might be disclosing.  Nevertheless, TIAA officials expressed confidence that matters could be resolved.

“We thought the administration’s acceptance of our offer to meet in San Francisco was finally an indication that they take the opinions of alumni, faculty and students seriously.  Unfortunately, we were wrong.  They made a sophomoric attempt to get us to sign a non-disclosure agreement, to gag us from speaking the truth, and with the sole purpose of taking away our rights to protest another future agreement like the Laureate one,” Counts said. 

Counts said the latest actions, which can be seen in the emails released, end the last vestiges of credibility the administration might have had. Consequently, the group renewed its request for the resignation of the school’s Board Chairwoman Ann Iverson, who might also be best known for failing Laura Ashley while running the company. 

“This debate is now clearly one between egos and excellence.  Those who have failed Thunderbird curiously want to hold onto power rather than step aside and do right by the school,” said Counts.

“We need transparency.  We need collaboration.  And we ultimately need new leadership at Thunderbird,” Counts said, reiterating the group’s willingness to greatly aid the situation once key reforms are made.  

A link to the email can be found here.