The Zen Center Board met on February 18 at Greens Restaurant.
In ongoing work on establishing a new grievance and conflict resolution procedure, the board voted to establish formally a committee of the three abbotts, the president and the board chair as the final authority in these matters (the “Review Board”). It also voted to recommend that the Ethics and Reconciliation (EAR) Council take as its primary mission training regarding conflict resolution and all other matters touching on ethics and reconciliation, rather than attempting to directly resolve grievances. To that end, the EAR Council will merge with the existing trainings committee, whose members—Linda Galijan, Tova Green, Mark Lancaster and Jeremy Levie—were appointed by the board to the council.
The board leadership brought a report which was unanimously approved, recommending that Susan O’Connell remain in office as president for at least a further two-year term. The vote further established a new element in the Zen Center administration, that of vice president of operations, which will begin in the next couple of months. The new vice president will be Rita Cummings, a former director of development here at Zen Center who has recently been head of development at St. Andrews University in Scotland.
The board also voted to experiment with brief executive session periods, long considered a best practice for nonprofit boards.