Elon University Board of Trustees
Vendor Policy Study Committee

UPDATE: The Vendor Policy Study Committee completed its work in late March 2013 and delivered its findings to the Board of Trustees. The committee's final report is now available at: http://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/administration/VPSC_finalreport.pdf


Background on the committee

The question about whether Chick-fil-A should continue as a vendor at Elon University generated considerable debate on campus and beyond. The debate involved an important balance – protecting the rights of free speech and expression, and fostering an inclusive campus environment that supports each member of the campus community and welcomes a wide range of religious traditions, identities, and perspectives about political and social issues.

The Board of Trustees established a Vendor Policy Study Committee to research the university’s current vendor policies. Upon completion of its work, the committee provided a summary of its findings to the Board, including the pros and cons of potential amendments to the policies. The Board had asked the committee to complete the following tasks:

  • To review the university’s current purchasing policies and existing guidelines used to manage these policies; 
  • To develop options for the university to address concerns about the actions or policies of a vendor;
  • To conduct an independent study to respond to community concerns raised about Chick-fil-A’s presence on campus and its charitable contributions. The committee will provide a summary of its findings to the Board of Trustees for use in its consideration of that issue.

The committee's process and timeline was as follows:

Late November: Initial committee meeting to review charge, distribute background documents and determine additional questions

Early December: Extended committee workshop to review documents and ask questions

January: Electronic meeting to review progress and ask additional questions. With the committee's input, co-chairs Herbert and Ledoux Book will develop a draft of ideas to present to the Board of Trustees.

Late January and February: Committee deliberates and finalizes options to present to the Board of Trustees

Late February: Final committee meeting; update prepared for presentation to the Board of Trustees

March-April: Final committee report document finalized and presented to the Board of Trustees

The committee

The study committee was co-chaired by Elon trustee and alumnus William N.P. Herbert, M.D., the Former William Norman Thornton Professor, Chair and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Virginia, and Connie Ledoux Book, Elon's Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.

Committee members included the following:

Trustees

Noel Allen ’69, president and managing partner of Allen, Pinnix and Nichols, P.A.
Kerrii Anderson ’79, former CEO of Wendy’s International, Inc.
Katherine Weaver, president of Residence Development
Christine Baker ’G88, former banking executive
Victoria Hunt, CEO of Hunt Electric Supply

Students, faculty and staff

Jeffrey Pugh, Maude Sharpe Powell Professor of Religious Studies
Gabie Smith, professor of psychology and chair of the Department of Psychology
Maurice Levesque, professor of psychology and associate dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences
Tom Flood, assistant director of physical plant/director of landscaping and groups, and former chair of the Staff Advisory Council
Carla Ugboro, assistant director for employee relations, Office of Human Resources
Gerald O. Whittington, senior vice president for business, finance, and technology
Laura Lee Sturm ’13, Hinsdale, Illinois
Richmond Rosati '14, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Elon University welcomed the involvement of all members of the community in these discussions and asked support for careful deliberations and thoughtful discourse in finding the appropriate decision on these issues. This approach was a hallmark of the Elon community and demonstrated our values of providing everyone with an opportunity to express their opinions.

April 25, 2013