To the Editor:
I was outraged by the March 21 letter of Maureen Doran and the Association of Yale Alumni Board of Governors to alumni regarding the upcoming Alumni Fellow election. If they wish to inform alumni of their decision to endorse a candidate — Maya Lin ’81 ARC ’86 — for the position, they should do so directly. To send a letter that is so obviously biased against the Rev. W. David Lee DIV ’93, while purporting simply to inform alumni of the election, was disingenuous.
Given that a petition process exists for obtaining a place on the ballot, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a candidate taking advantage of such a process, contrary to the letter’s implications. There is also nothing inherently wrong with campaigning for this position — or any other position which is essentially political in nature. Again, by saying that a grass-roots campaign is “contrary to tradition,” the letter implies that there is something wrong with Lee’s efforts.
Perhaps, instead, the problem is with the tradition –one in which a select group of insiders has in the past chosen candidates and then asked the alumni to rubber-stamp their decisions.
In the future, I would hope that the AYA will either come clean with its motives by openly stating its position or refrain from wasting money and time — time that could be more productively spent on something of real benefit to Yale and its alumni — on mailings such as this that are designed to mislead alumni and malign an individual and his perfectly legitimate efforts to seek a position on the Corporation.
I was leaning in favor of voting for Lee before receiving this letter. Now I am sure I will do so.
April 5, 2002