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President Sideways? Not Bloody Likely.

Remember when I mentioned that Naropa University was seeking a new president for the institution and I threw my hat in the ring? Well, I received an e-mail today from the search committee. It was a nicely written form letter that side-steps any of the real issues I brought up in my letter, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Dear Ms. Sideways,

Thank you for your interest in the search for the President of Naropa University. We were pleased to have the opportunity to consider your application. As you might imagine, this opportunity has attracted an array of strong applicants, each of whom would bring distinct strengths and accomplishments to the role. While your background is impressive, the search committee is focusing on other candidates who appear to be a closer fit for the particular requirements of the position.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.


Alan Wichlei
Vice President and Director
Isaacson, Miller

Phillip Petree
Search Consultant
Isaacson, Miller

I wonder what exactly in my background is impressive, apart from my courage to tell them the truth about this institution and how/why it needs reform. But I digress, it was a very nicely written form letter and I decided to write them a nicely written letter as well.

Dear Sirs:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Thank you very much for your nicely-worded form letter. I do hope that you find an appropriate candidate for the position of Naropa’s President. No, I don’t mean appropriate as in a mere continuation of the fraud and abuse that goes on at Naropa on a daily basis. No, I do not mean the suppression of science and the creation of a cult-like atmosphere. I mean a President that has the strength to rid the institution of it’s fraudulent elements and make it an institution that students, faculty, staff and alumni can truly be proud of.

In Ordo Templi Orientis, we do not praise all of Crowley’s words, opinions or utterances. Hell, I think some of the more critical people of Crowley are in the Order. However, I have to say that Naropa University still perpetuates a cult of personality around Trungpa and enables the type of fraud and abuse that Trungpa perpetuated in his Shambhala/Vajradhatu organization.

I hope you can find a President that can make Naropa a good institution. I’m not hoping for a world-class institution (well, not within my lifetime) but I hope they can make Naropa something worth keeping around. Because right now, the abuses and fraud perpetuated by the administration at Naropa is disgusting.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

Most sincerely,

Jessica E. Sideways

If you would like to let Naropa’s presidential search committee know what you think, you should e-mail them! The e-mail address for Mr. Petree above is ppetree@imsearch.com. In addition, you can find the information for the presidential search committee on MyNaropa.


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