The National Herald - October 1, 2004

Demetrios Appoints New Holy Cross Vice-Chair

   By Theodore Kalmoukos

BOSTON.- Archbishop Demetrios of America appointed Thomas Lelon Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology Executive Committee.

Lelon succeeds George Chryssis, who asked the Archbishop not to renew his term. Lelon, a professor of business management at Nichols College, has served Hellenic College/Holy Cross for a decade (1976-1986) as president. During his presidency, Lelon had attempted the development and expansion of Hellenic College into a full phase college by adding programs in business administration, economics, and human development as well as in the areas of athletics. Lelon's efforts did not reach the level of success anticipated. As a result, along with the duress of an increasing deficit, the then Archbishop Iakovos changed the head of the Theological School by appointing the late Metropolitan Silas of New Jersey as president.
Thomas Lelon was also a high-ranking official in the GOAL Organization, which acted during the tenure of former Archbishop Spyridon, demanding his removal as Archbishop of America.

Although no official announcement was made as yet of Lelon's appointment, the Herald has learned that Archbishop Demetrios announced the appointment at the Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday, September 15. The Archbishop of America is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College/Holy Cross and he appoints the trustees as well as the members of the Executive Committee for a two-year term. Lelon's appointment as vice chairman was expected to be verified, as is customary, during the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, October 1.

Archbishop Demetrios spoke for about 45 minutes on issues unrelated to the school. He spoke about violence in the world today and its connection to  religion, and made reference to his recent visit to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where he discussed the problem of the Palestinian parishes in the U.S. and the presence of a hierarch of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the U.S.

He spoke about the helicopter accident  that took the life of the late Patriarch Petros of Egypt and his 16-member entourage. Demetrios emphasized the significance of his appointment as a member of the American delegation to the Olympic Games in Athens last August as well as his presence in the Democratic and Republican Conventions where he offered the benediction prayer.

Also discussed was the memo named "Concerns About Due Process," written by Professors Nicholas Patriakalakis of MIT and Theoharis Theoharides of the Tufts University Medical School, both former members of the Board of Trustees, which was sent on May 7, 2004 to the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees. 

The issue was discussed for approximately one half hour.

The two professors told the members of the Executive Committee, "It is not right to unanimously vote on a charter and after a while violate it." Patriakalakis and Theoharides urged the committee to abide by Academic Rules and the Process.

Among the 13 points of the May 7, 2004 memorandum sent by Patrikalakis and Theoharides were the Leadership/ Management curriculum, which was unanimously voted that a full time faculty member be hired, but as yet no qualified Greek-American professors have been contacted; Dr. Perdikoyianni' unofficial firing after eight years of service; no open search was made for the appointment of two full time faculty; the  apparent removal of a file of at least one candidate in the search for a Cantonis Chair; and the lack of due process in hiring Dr. Dova. The  status of the Dean of the College was mentioned as well because, according to the existing rules, the Dean should have been passed through the Promotions and Tenure Committee.

Makrakis is the Dean of Hellenic College, without having been a professor.

Patrikalakis and Theoharides proposed the elimination of the Leadership/Management program because it was never approved by the Policies and Procedures Committee and the Trustees.

They  made a plea for the policies and procedures to be followed. "What we are saying today, was said in a special retreat three-and-one-half years ago, we said it again in a retreat last February, and also in two full Board of Trustees meetings, have been unanimously voted and today we say again the same things," Prof. Theoharides said.

Rev. Emmanuel Clapsis, dean of Holy Cross said in the meeting, "Although what is being said here concerns the Hellenic College and not the School of Theology, nevertheless I agree with the observations of Professors Patrikalakis and Theoharides that the policies and procedures must be followed."

No action was taken at the meeting except for the promise that efforts will be made to examine the issues raised in the memorandum by the two professors.

[ Orthodox Truth |  -  October 1, 2004 ]