From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Franklin to step down as dean of Berkeley at Yale

Date Wed, 19 Dec 2001 13:57:05 -0500 (EST)


Franklin to step down as dean of Berkeley at Yale

by Jan Nunley

     (ENS) R. William Franklin has announced his resignation as dean of Berkeley 
Divinity School at Yale, effective January 1, 2002. He will become dean emeritus. 

     Franklin will assume a new position as Bishop's Scholar-in-Residence for the 
Episcopal Diocese of New York, responsible for "building links between New York's 
academic and civic institutions and the Episcopal Church," according to a 
statement issued December 18. He will also help to develop Episcopal chaplaincies 
at New York colleges and universities and write historical studies, including a 
study on the aftermath of September 11.

     "When I arrived at Berkeley four years ago, my task was to strengthen 
Berkeley's programs and resources to help the school address the changing 
leadership needs of the Episcopal Church in this new century," Franklin said in 
the statement. "Having made great progress on these fronts, I feel this is a 
logical transition point for me personally as I seek to spend more time with my 
family, professionally as I accept a call to a new ministry in New York, and for 
Berkeley as it explores the future shape of its relationship with Yale."

     Berkeley Divinity School, affiliated with Yale Divinity School, is a 
seminary of the Episcopal Church (USA) serving the Anglican Communion. Episcopal 
seminarians at Yale Divinity School receive their degrees from Yale University 
and a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. 

Allegations 'incorrect or misleading'

     Franklin's planned announcement was marred by a report in the Hartford 
Courant alleging that his departure was related to the findings of an internal 
audit of Berkeley undertaken by Yale as part of the renegotiating of the 
affiliation between the two institutions. According to the report, the auditors 
said they "identified a nearly complete lack of internal controls" over an 
account that contained much of the school's funds, as well as some discrepancies 
in Franklin's use of the account for personal matters. 

     The newspaper account alleges that he used the account for his daughter's 
Harvard Medical School tuition and dental bills, as well as receiving two 
personal loans and airline tickets for himself and his wife to attend the 2000 
General Convention in Denver. The auditors criticized what they saw as inadequate 
or missing documentation for expenses submitted by Franklin and other Berkeley 

     "The fact is that the Board of Trustees reviewed the findings of that audit 
earlier this autumn and concluded that none of the issues identified by the 
auditors involved was a cause for punitive action," said Christian Sonne, 
chairman of the Berkeley board of trustees, in another statement issued 
separately from Franklin's. "Furthermore, upon investigation, many of the matters 
referred to in the auditors' report have proven to be incorrect or misleading 
while many others have proven to be perfectly appropriate, and there has been no 
misappropriation of funds.

      "The internal, confidential audit conducted by Yale, the first in more than 
10 years, was part of an auditing process by which the University ensures that 
its systems and practices are uniform among its many departments and affiliates, 
and the auditors identified a number of instances where Berkeley's practices 
diverged from Yale's standards.  Yale and Berkeley are addressing those issues.  
In addition, Berkeley has asked the firm of Deloitte & Touche to undertake an 
independent audit to examine issues raised by the Yale audit and to provide us 
with advice on ways to conform Berkeley's financial accounting systems with those 
of Yale."

     During Franklin's three-year tenure, student enrollment more than doubled. 
Franklin spearheaded a successful capital campaign and increased contributions to 
the annual fund by 41% during his deanship. He founded the National Advisory 
Council, a group of prominent lay and ordained leaders which gathers twice a year 
to share in shaping Berkeley's programs. He also launched the award-winning 
Berkeley at Yale magazine. 

     Berkeley has begun a search process for an interim dean.

--The Rev. Jan Nunley is deputy director of Episcopal News Service. 

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