To the Editor:

It appears from the article (“Trustee approved improper payment,” 1/28) that Worth Loomis, the vice-chairman of the Berkeley board of trustees and I share at least one thing in common. We are both, to quote Loomis “a little old-fashioned.”

Now that Dean Franklin has left our midst it seems that there is more to the story than has been previously made public.

In the article, board chairman Christian R. Sonne admits his support for the payment of the funds to Franklin for the payment of $10,000 for his daughter’s Harvard Medical School tuition, recommending in July 2001 that Berkeley Divinity School’s executive board continue the payment to Franklin as “perfectly reasonable” and a reward for Franklin’s success at Berkeley. Sonne further admits that he was not aware that such payments might have been contrary to any Yale policy.

Worth Loomis also admits knowing of Sonne’s memo recommending continuation of the payments but apparently attempts to excuse his concurrence by pleading ignorance of “the limits — of these arrangements.”

Here is the point on which I must also be a “little old fashioned” and agree with Mr. Loomis that “if you’re on the bridge of the ship when it hits the rock, you have to take the blame for it.”

The only question left in my mind is, was it really Dean Franklin on the bridge of the Good Ship Berkeley when it hit the proverbial “rock” or was it Messrs. Loomis and Sonne?

Lisa K. Schoonmaker

January 29, 2001

The writer is a second-year Master’s of Divinity student in the Berkeley Divinity School.