Wednesday, July 12, 2023

SECU Board - Individual Accountability - Jennifer Haygood & Stelfanie Williams, Part 2

  Stelfanie Williams          Jennifer Haygood Image         

Ms. Stelfanie Williams       Ms. Jennifer Haygood
🔆 Dr. Williams joined the SECU Board of Directors in 2017. 
🔆 Jennifer Haygood was appointed to the SECU Board of Directors in 2019.

Since Ben McLawhorn earned the honor of a double post earlier in the week, seemed fair to give equal time to Ms. Haygood and Dr. Williams and to make a couple of more points. I know both are appreciative.  Ms. Haygood is the Chef Financial Officer of the University of North Carolina System. Dr. Williams is the Vice-President for Durham Affairs at Duke University.
✅ That both women are new to the SECU Board - and that they are women - has given many members hope. Both are clearly intelligent and capable, but the open question is if they are strong enough to call for a review and reconsideration of "the last two years of progress" at the "New/New" SECU? As  new members of the SECU Board - given the disruption/isolation created by the pandemic, while striving to climb the "learning curve" in a unique, complex organization, - perhaps these two Board members were too trusting of a senior Board clique pushing an agenda discredited by all prior SECU Boards?
✅ It would be more than normal for new Board members to believe, trust, and defer to more experienced colleagues. And, to believe that the information you were being given was balanced, accurate and complete.  But what if you were "sold a bill of goods" by those "with an agenda"?
Could such a major deception really occur? Sure. An easy example is that our Country went to war because Iraq possessed "weapons of mass destruction" - remember? Despite the most sophisticated intelligence system in the world, we later learned that the WMD intel was not true.  How could that happen - incompetence or deceit?... your choice. Yes, it does happen - and lots of innocent people end up getting hurt.
✅ The wisdom and prudence of prior SECU Boards is reflected in that 85-year unbroken record of success - quantifiable, factual, indisputable. The embarrassing, 2-year record of  the "New/New" SECU is also becoming indisputable. Why wouldn't you call for an open review? What is the downside for 2.7 million North Carolinians who have put their trust in you?
👉 Ms. Haygood and Dr. Williams have now been directly alerted [link 7/10/2023 post] that risk-based lending (RBL) at SECU is unnecessarily and unjustly discriminating against the majority of SECU borrowers - costing them literally millions of dollars in financial harm. Real people are getting hurt - your fellow University co-workers, your fellow members, your fellow North Carolinians.  Highly-knowledgeable financial professionals - driven by neither self-interest, nor a hidden/discredited agenda - have publicly declared you have erred. Why would you refuse to confirm that your RBL decision was based on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
✔  The legal imperative is clear:  
From the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges - Fiduciary duties are at the heart of effective governance: Contrary to popular belief, fulfilling one’s fiduciary duties cannot be reduced to simply overseeing financial assets of colleges and universities. Governing boards must make good faith decisions in the best interest of their institutions by acting in accordance with the fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and obedience. While boards act as a body, “the fiduciary duties applied by law and best practice fall on individual board members.” 
✔  The ethical imperative is clearer:

...  as Germany in the1930's proved, if you're afraid to stand up for others - and for justice for all - "things" can get out of hand with disastrous consequences.