*Statement from Fisher More College President Michael King re: Dr. Taylor Marshall

 

It was with great sorrow that I learned of Dr. Taylor Marshall’s public criticism of me and his allegations concerning affairs at Fisher More College. I am saddened for our students and staff, for our College, for Catholics suffering through this incredible fury of ugliness, and for my wife and children. But I am especially saddened for Dr. Marshall. He was always treated well by the College, by me personally, and by my family, and we will continue to act in charitable consideration of him and his deserving family.

As with all personnel matters, I will not comment publicly on any of the circumstances surrounding Dr. Marshall’s employment and departure. This policy serves to protect current or former employees, none of whom we wish to see personally harmed by statements that would be necessary to explain and justify our actions. It also serves as a guardian of our own souls, particularly when the devil besets us with the temptation to respond to an injustice by committing one of our own.

Needless to say, the College is obligated to address Dr. Marshall’s puzzling allegations about finances and the real estate transaction involving our campus. We have issued a detailed statement addressing these matters here. While it was disturbing that Dr. Marshall abused his privilege as an ex officio member of the Board, his indiscretion could have been mitigated by fairness and accuracy, rather than being aggravated by misrepresentation. For instance, Dr. Marshall knows that the College originally considered purchasing the real estate by using seller financing, but the Board instructed me to seek different terms from the sellers. Further, he knows that the sellers agreed to a two-year lease with an option to purchase. Finally, he should know that the terms of our lease-purchase-option are so advantageous to the College that, as a result, the sellers (who are not Catholic) are now considered among our most generous benefactors. Anyone experienced in commercial real estate would envy the terms of a transaction he has called crippling. Moreover, I recall no member of the staff being more enthused about our future home than was Dr. Marshall, nor do I recall him ever suggesting a viable alternative to the one that he now claims has crippled us through my personal orchestration.

From his seat in Board meetings, Dr. Marshall should also be familiar with all of the budgets and expenditures that followed the sale of our former campus. In fact, financial issues should have weighed heavy on his mind because fundraising and development were the main duties of a title, office, and job description that he personally requested and confidently assumed. So it is bewildering that he would imply a lack of knowledge or understanding with respect to financial affairs. I am certain that Dr. Marshall knew fully well that our future depended on winning over a donor or small group of donors with the means to finance the mission. I am certain of this because he and I spent many hours discussing both this fact and the fact that time was of the essence.

Missing from his unfortunate public narrative are many other important facts that are now available in our published statement. As we mention therein, Dr. Marshall’s allegations unjustly implicate and calumniate other former colleagues of his on the staff and Board, all of whom treated him well and did nothing to deserve this.

I should hope it goes without saying that a public retraction is in order.

JMJ

* The Board of Fisher More College has issued a separate statement

 

 

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