Decision Number 161


October 16, 1959

Ruling of Bishop William T. Watkins in Connection with Action Taken by the Board of Trustees of Kentucky Wesleyan College

Statement of Facts

The Board of Trustees of Kentucky Wesleyan College by a vote of 10 to 8 at their regular meeting on May 25, 1959, voted to "accept the resignation of Dr. Oscar W. Lever as President of Kentucky Wesleyan College effective May 31, 1959, but with his salary to continue until August 31, 1959." At a recessed meeting held on June 1, 1959, a motion to rescind this action was introduced, points of order against its eligibility were raised by several members of the Board, which were denied by the Chairman who thereafter declared the former action rescinded by a vote of 12 to 8. The total membership of the Board was 25. The Board then adjourned to meet in Louisville on June 16th to further consider the matter.

The questions asked of Bishop William T. Watkins as President of the Louisville and Kentucky Annual Conferences were:

1. "Was the action of the Board in rescinding on June 1, 1959, the action of the Board on May 25th, legal and of effect?"

2. "What is the legal status of Dr. Oscar W. Lever in relationship to Kentucky Wesleyan College as a result of this action?"

The Louisville and Kentucky Annual Conferences have placed all Boards or other subsidiary agencies under "the rules of the previous General Conferences insofar as they apply, otherwise Robert's Rules of Order, Revised."

In accordance with the secretary's record of the meeting of the Board of Trustees of May 25, 1959, in its final paragraph it stated: "Upon motion ofHightower, duly seconded and duly passed, the Chairman declared the Board of Trustees recessed until June 1, 1959, at 10 A.M."

At the subsequent meeting on June 16th a resolution giving Dr. Lever a conditional tenure of one year in office was passed by a vote of 19 to 4.

In Bishop Watkins' ruling he stated: "Of course the Board at its May 25thmeeting knew that it did not have before it a resignation from the President."

The Judicial Council thereafter received under date of October 9, 1959, a letter from John 0. Gross, the General Secretary of the Division of Educational Institutions of the Board of Education of The Methodist Church stating that "on Tuesday, Oct. 6th, Dr. Oscar W. Lever retired as President of Kentucky Wesleyan College."


The ruling of Bishop Watkins is properly before the Judicial Council in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 909 of the 1956 Discipline.

Analysis and Rationale


In view of the above letter from John 0. Gross we consider the matter moot and now deem no further action on our part necessary.

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