Voithia - July 24, 1997

A Response To Dr. Constantine Vaporis

I read your letter posted on the "Voithia" Web site and felt that it was necessary to correct some false impressions given by some of your statements. Here is additional information relevant to some of your comments:

Regarding Dr. Evie Holmberg, I am very surprised that you -- as a respected professor yourself -- are not more sensitive to the important question of faculty governance over appointments to one's own faculty. Dr. Holmberg is a tenured professor of classical and modern Greek in Hellenic College. However, she has never received a legitimate appointment to the faculty of the School of Theology.  |One of the points in my complaint to the Attorney General is that the Archbishop, like Bishop Methodios earlier, has attempted illegally and in violation of the accreditation standards to force her on the School of Theology faculty. According to the accreditation standards, as well as our own Policies and Procedures Manual, the Faculty Appointments Committee is to be involved in any faculty appointment process. In addition, according to the accreditation standards of the Association of Theological Schools, theology faculty must have the appropriate theological credentials. Since Dr. Holmberg's doctorate is in classics and she does not participate in the academic theological community (through attendance at professional conferences, presentation of papers at those conferences, and publication of theological articles in peer-reviewed journals), she does not meet those requirements.

Regarding her attendance at School of Theology faculty meetings as an adjunct faculty member, Fr. Calivas asked the faculty to exclude ALL affiliated faculty (i.e., those who are full-time faculty in the college) since they already attend the College faculty meetings. She was NOT singled out on the basis of her sex, since Drs. Pilitsis, Michopoulos, Chirban, and Constas also fall into the same category; they too did not attend faculty meetings of the School of Theology, although Dr. Chirban has a Th.D. from Harvard in pastoral psychology and Dr. Constas has a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America in historical theology (both also have M.Div. degrees from Holy Cross).

Regarding your father's mandatory retirement, Fr. Calivas acted on the instructions of the Board of Trustees. In addition, although you would know more about this than I, I understand that the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination rejected your father's complaint.

Furthermore, I believe that it is unfair to state that your father was "rudely pushed out". Fr. Calivas specifically asked Fr. Vaporis what he would like to have as a professor emeritus (office space, teaching a course periodically, etc.). In fact, your father retained his office and continued his research on the neo-martyrs of the Ottoman period (which I hope that you and the rest of your family will have published).

Regarding the royalties, we both know that there are serious legal questions involved, including possible conflict of interest and lack of copyright. I do not feel that it is proper to discuss these in a public forum.

On a personal note, Constantine, although we've never spoken, I want you to know how much I loved your father; I pray for his soul every day. There were many issues about how things should be done at the school on which we disagreed vehemently. But, he was a wonderful husband and father and possibly the best "pappou" anywhere. He loved his family more than anything else in the world -- he often boasted of Presvytera Mary's artistic talent, and he was SO proud of you and all his children, and of all your children. Fr. Vaporis's warmth, generosity, and caring for those he loved are the qualities I choose to remember most about him. I miss him.

Valerie Karras

[ Voithia - - July 24, 1997 ]