Coop Declines to Renominate Controversial Board Member
Nominations released yesterday for the Harvard Coop board of directors do not include a current board member who has been active in exposing Coop policies that he believes are detrimental to Coop members.
Donald J. Steele, former student director of the Coop and a present board member, said yesterday that he wasn't renominated because he had reported Coop policies regarding officer's salaries, tax liabilities and treatment of employees to the general public and to government agencies.
"I can well understand why they wouldn't renominate someone who was interested in exposing the questionable activities of the board," Steele said.
The nominees' list also does not include a non-student woman or black. There has never been a woman or a black on the non-student board, Steele said yesterday.
Steele said the present management does not want to nominate minorities because the board is afraid new members might question its activities.
"They just don't want any dissenting voices on the board," he said.
John B. Butler, chairman of the nominating committee and Harvard director of personnel, said yesterday that Steele's charges were incorrect.
The Coop stockholders, including three Women and two blacks, select the nominees, Butler said. He said the Coop would be glad to have women and minorities on the board but he could not say why the stockholders did not nominate any.
Butler refused to comment on the stockholders' failure to renominate Steele. "That's a matter to keep within the committee of stockholders," he said.
The Coop board of directors consists of 11 students and 11 non-student members. The Coop nominates 11 people for each category each year. Any others who wish to run must turn in a petition with 100 names. Coop members then choose the board members in an election.
Steele said he would not circulate a petition to become a nominee this year because of the hostility of the management and some board members towards some of his actions last year.
Steele made public the salaries of Coop officers last year charging that they were too large. He also reported tax liabilities to government agencies and tried to help Coop employees organize a union last year