As someone who has been a member of several nonprofit boards, I am appalled at the reactions of seemingly intelligent fans of conductor Mary Woodmansee Green to the decision of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra's board to not renew or extend her contract.
As with any organization -- nonprofit, governmental or for-profit -- out of respect for the employee, personnel matters are discussed behind closed doors. When a decision to not renew or extend a professional services contract is made, for a variety of reasons -- not the least of which is the potential for litigation -- the basis of the board's decision is not always presented to the public. The exception would be a flagrant ethical, moral or legal issue made public through the media, forcing a board to take action to protect the interests of the organization.
I, too, have enjoyed presentations by the symphony and Green. However, I also trust and respect the intelligence and integrity of the members of the symphony's board, some of whom I have the good fortune to know personally. By virtue of their commitment to sustaining a viable orchestral program in the Lowcountry, they have made what may be for some an unpopular decision, but for very good reasons are not at liberty to share all the factors considered in their decision.
To those who are continuing to publicly question the board's action I say, it's time to deal with it.
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