Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Regarding the Gallaudet University’s Board of Trustees Nominations

As you know, I have been anticipating the opportunity to serve the hearing impaired communities as a member of the Gallaudet University’s Board of Trustees.

I have been looking forward to working with the current board members to establish a new vision that enables the Gallaudet University to move forward. That optimistic view was based on a presumption that several societal controversies and leadership challenges facing the hearing impaired communities can be resolved. I had believed that Gallaudet University was positioned to launch a new and exciting chapter in its history.

However, there are very strong indications that these problems will persist for well into the future. I hoped that divisive elements in our community were prepared to focus on the future and forget the past. I hoped that this period of instability and uncertainty could be put behind us and that we all could start the process of rebuilding confidence in our community.

Given the recent events that aggravates the uncertainty and instability of the university, any efforts on my part to launch new initiatives and improvement strategies for Gallaudet University could be overshadowed by ingrained, protracted, high profile divisiveness in the hearing impaired communities. For these reasons, I am asking that the Gallaudet University to withdraw my nominations to be a member of the board of trustees.

This is a disappointment for me personally and professionally because I believe that Gallaudet University has a rich tradition of excellence that can form the basis for even greater achievement in the years ahead. This would have been the capstone of my life journey to make the lives of the hearing impaired communities better.

I remain very confident in my abilities as the Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center to make the lives of the hearing impaired communities better.

I wish Gallaudet University the best in their endeavors to make life better for the future hearing impaired generations.

Richard Roehm