Where to From Here?
The enthusiasm that ended 2018 quickly changed into amazement, confusion and anger at the start of 2019.
Lama Zopa has identified four people —two from the EC’s lists and two of his own— however in 2019 the EC decided not to work with any of them. They also were not prepared to stand aside, either. Effectively they chose themselves over Rinpoche.
No one wanted to add to the division and upset that had resulted so things quietened down and the EC brought back the former CD to fill in until a new CD could be sorted out for TI. Eventually, it came time for the Annual General Meeting and the opportunity for Members to choose a new Executive Committee for the next year.
“Tara Institute is an FPMT centre and follows FPMT policy, including having an Affiliation Agreement with FPMT Inc.;
and Tara Institute has a valid constitution under Australian law which dictates our activities.“
Tara Institute Executive Committee,
1 February 2019
I think, and would expect, every TI Member to agree with what the EC is saying about the Centre in that statement above. TI is an FPMT centre governed by its Rules registered with Consumer Affairs in Victoria. As an FPMT centre we are obliged to follow Rinpoche’s wishes; as a registered Association we are obliged to follow our written Rules.
May is the fifth month of the year, and TI still has not been able to find a replacement for Frank and me. Together, we were Lama Zopa’s main choice to direct TI and we feel an obligation to fulfill his wishes in line with our Centre’s obligations as an FPMT Centre.
TI must come together if it is to move on from the pain of the first months of the year and I am encouraging and hoping that the outgoing EC members will continue to serve the Centre as Portfolio holders as before.
Below is what I outlined to Rinpoche via Ven. Roger. It is still my view that this would provide better long term benefits for Tara Institute with more experienced and proven TI people at the peak of the Centre’s governance tree. If you vote for me to be CD, this is what you are voting for but only as an experiment for the next year.
If it doesn’t work out to be better, you can simply go back to having whoever volunteers to run portfolios or whatever other people you wish to have controlling a $10 million property and all that goes with it from here on. You can read more of the email, here.
I want to install experienced TI people at the highest level of the Centre. From Allyse Andrews, Dave Andrews, Wayne Bevan, Damien Busby, Jeremy Cohen, Sally Dudgeon, Adrian Feldmann, George Farley, Mark Fernandes , Suzanne Grenier, Margie Hanrahan, Mark Hebblewhite, David Hope, Adele Hulse, Denis Marsh, Judy Mayne, Alan Molloy, Ross Moore, Alison Ribush, Bob Sharples, Wayne Thomson, Sandup Tsering, Ven Tsering, Gabe Wallace, Hal Young. People who have given years of their lives to TI and have had experience running the place in some important and responsible way. Obviously only a few would take up a role but if it was for a short time, the odds would be better.
According to the legal Rules of the Centre, that top committee would also include the CD, Treasurer and Secretary; those 3 do not have to come from the senior group. That committee would elect/appoint the CD (exactly as is now the case, with Rinpoche’s advice) and if necessary remove the CD. They would be subject to election by the members every year.
As I write this, it is now July and still no Centre Director for TI. Gabe has stepped down from being stand-in Director, Judy has left the EC and her Assistant, David Andrews has assumed the temporary role as Director until a new CD can be appointed. Time drags on and the fruits of opposing Rinpoche’s selections ripen on the tree.