A Call for the Removal of Ms. Bobbie Beth Scoggins as President of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD)

Dear Board Members of the National Association of the Deaf,

I call upon the Board of the NAD to undertake a due process hearing in order to remove Ms. Scoggins from her position as President of the NAD.

One basis for my call for Ms. Scoggins’ removal falls under Article Four (4.14) of the Bylaws of the NAD which governs the Board of Directors. This states: “no member with a personal or financial interest of a material nature in the affairs of the Association shall be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors of the Association.”

The NAD has a close relationship with Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD), a long time major sponsor of the NAD and a significant sponsor of the 2012 NAD Conference. Ms. Scoggins is currently the Chief Operating Officer of CSD. CSD has a close relationship with Governor Daugaard of South Dakota. The relationship between Gov. Daugaard, CSD, and Ms. Scoggins’ position as an executive officer of CSD casts questions upon her objectivity.

The membership cannot be confident in her ability to remain wholly objective in meditating communications between the membership and the Board given her personal and financial stake in the matter as an employee of an organization that has a close political relationship with Governor Daugaard. The membership is not confident in her ability to remain objective in order to make decisions that puts the NAD and its membership first and foremost.

Gov. Daugaard is a divisive figure who serves the antithesis of the NAD’s core values and missions. One core mission of the NAD is to preserve schools for the deaf. Gov. Daugaard oversaw the closing of the South Dakota School for the Deaf. Gov. Daugaard has also acted in ways that exclude or narrow civil and human rights which is in contrast to the NAD’s core value of inclusion and diversity.

There is clearly a personal conflict of interest that may be and is interpreted as one of a material nature between Ms. Scoggins’ employ at CSD, its relationship with Gov. Daugaard in South Dakota, and her service as President of the NAD.

Furthermore, according to 4.13, elected members may be removed…”for other good and sufficient reason.” Ms. Scoggins has damaged the public’s trust in her by failing to give careful thought to the public image of the Association in the view of the public. By doing so, she has damaged the reputation of the Association and its standing amongst civil rights organizations. As President, she bears the penultimate responsibility for the selection of speakers and the public image of the organization among other responsibilities. She authorized the selection of a highly divisive political figure to present at the NAD conference without sensitivity to the diverse composition of the NAD membership or to understand the deeper nuances of the significance of giving a prominent platform to someone with Gov. Daugaard’s record on civil and human rights.

By overseeing and authorizing the selection of Gov. Daugaard, Ms. Scoggins has failed to honor and uphold the motion passed on diversity at the January 2012 NAD Board Meeting in Louisville, KY.

On the basis of the language of the diversity motion, Gov. Daugaard’s invitation works against the building and maintaining of a totally inclusive environment.  This invitation also works against expanding membership, participation, and leadership that reflect the diversity of the American deaf community. This invitation also clearly does not adhere to the highest standards of diversity and inclusiveness. This invitation demonstrates that the Board did not work closely with all affiliates to further this commitment. Ms. Scoggins, as President of the NAD, has a duty to uphold the motions passed by the Board.

I call for the immediate removal of Ms. Scoggins as a demonstration that the NAD is committed to honest, open, transparent leadership absent of conflicts of interest along with diversity and inclusion. There cannot be questions as to whether our President is serving her employer’s interests in regard to the Governor or the Association’s best interests. This must be addressed before the Conference and irreparable damage is done.

T. Robinson

The relevant bylaws:

§ 4.13 Removal from Office.

Elected and appointed Board members may be removed after due process hearing for failure to carry out their duties or for other good and sufficient reason by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors present and voting.

§ 4.14 Conflict of Interest.

No member with a personal or financial interest of a material nature in the affairs of the Association shall be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors of the Association.

The diversity motion in full which was motioned, seconded, and passed:

“The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) embraces diversity and inclusiveness as one of its core values in achieving its mission. We are committed to:

-encompassing a wide range of human abilities and perspectives that includes, but are not limited to language, culture, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, and socioeconomic status

-building and maintaining a totally inclusive environment where differences of opinions, beliefs, and values are sought, listened to, respected, and valued

-expanding membership, participation, and leadership that reflect the diversity of the American deaf community; and

-enhancing its policies and practices to adhere to the highest standards of diversity and inclusiveness, and to work closely with all affiliates to further this commitment.”

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Comments on: "Call for Removal of Bobbie Beth Scoggins as President of the NAD" (13)

  1. Anonymous said:

    Waste of your time… its her last term with NAD

  2. Anonymous said:

    It’s not a waste of time. We need to make a strong statement that we will not tolerate such action anymore.

  3. Deaf Advocate said:

    I agree not a waste of time. Board transparency and accountability is a must to gain trust in NAD’s leadership.

  4. Miss woodham said:

    I agree with Octavian! We need to take a stand!

  5. Jeb Baldridge said:

    Take it easy, Deafies. I think we carry off too far, here.

    • Jeb, please check out my follow up blog post: Hold Yer Horses. This was intended to provoke a particular thought process, part of what Ricky states below as I have described elsewhere. This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series- but I ran out of energy to write the 2nd part tonight and will resume that tomorrow. But before we all go off in a wild direction, please read my follow up.

  6. Jeb Baldridge, be quiet — you sit in the back and watch at the wall, please.

    Tavian has a point – for a long time, we had been tolerant of NAD Board members’ dismissal of its bylaws. The bylaws clearly indicated that one cannot serve as the officer of NAD when one is working for an organization that has been a major supporter of NAD for years. First Ben Soukup, second Andrew J. Lange and now Bobbie Beth Scoggins — all worked for CSD and served as officers of NAD. Is this a clear violation of NAD’s bylaws? Yes, it is.

    Since NAD Board has continued to patronize the people who objected about inviting Dennis Daugaard to NAD Conference, we need to ensure that the board is transparent with all people. Many non-profit organizations has posted its information on a certain website from A to Z including the disclosure of $$ & minutes. That certain website did not have NAD nor CSD on the list. So much for transparency.

    Since NAD hasn’t been responsive regarding the Daugaard mess, we have the right to question, apply the pressures and so on.

    In my opinion, I think our approach is much better than yours, Jeb. Since you had done nothing but spewing whatever is on your mind? Eh.

    R-

    • Jeb Baldridge said:

      Ricky, have you met Sen. Duggard? If no, then I shouldn’t be quiet. I know you have explained clearly but I still have to disagree on this one. I have high regards for you but when you fired me back like this – it is totally unacceptable, Ricky. I do not appreciate your tone. I am entiled to my own opinions, thank you.

      • *cringles* I think you keep missing his point… If you are pay attention to the big picture then you will understand why we are doing it… I don’t believe in clique and being choosen by their personal friend… we don’t have time to argument with people who doesn’t get it… just asking us many questions till you get it.

  7. FYI: Just send my video and email letter to NAD yesterday May 30, 2012.

    well, my vlog is now in public… eh? my iphone video seems too chapping… me not too crazy vlogging too much myself.

    Thanks for sharring your excellent post. me gonna wait for NAD to response my email first . if no repsonse from NAD then I will sign petition and join with ya. 😉

    Yes, I did notify Missouri Assoc of the Deaf with POTE’s blog link which your link is under POTE

    I don’t see any Deaf Catholic Leader confront or stop the hearing Catholic hurry running to have lawsuit against Federal goverment about fundamental rights hang in the balance (i don’t see many Catholic hospitals, Baptist hopsitals, Jewish and different religion hospitals do hire more than 25 or 50 Deaf ASL users)

    from St. Louis Missour
    Shawn Elfrink

  8. I feel that NAD needs to be refresh since I’ve been screaming for some help lately for many years, continually by nowdays which effected me to feel that these people who’re working among with the NAD need to be change big time because they never answer any of my requests lately which effected me to feel very strong this needs to be done by somehow to improve much better….. Even tho…. One of NAD staffs was one of my classmate, I had been trying to contact for these years which effected me to feel it really wasted of my time as I started to think that person is supposed to remove from NAD without any honor!

    Plus, I’m the most concerning all about whereabouts would our Deaf children be able to benfits their very good educations for their future sakes since I noticed some Deaf schools in some states already shut down which really hurt a lot of our Deaf children by forcing them enter these public schools where they’re not belong to. Whereabouts else would any of our Deaf children be very comfort and be happy while they’re growing and wanting to learn much as they can for their future sakes….. Please as I beg you all folks to think more than just twice as I know for our Deaf children are very innocently who really in needs to learn “ASL” more than anything else! I’m myself totally Deaf and I’m a Deaf mother of my four Deaf sons and now, grandma of two Deaf grandkids. I also think of the others, too. For many years while I raised my Deaf sons, I had been teaching these hearing parents learn how to communicate with their own Deaf children and I had been teaching them how to use our ASL, too. I feel that this is part of my job to share my inner heart for all Deaf children by nowdays really need their Deaf schools where they will always be very happy and thankful their Deaf schools for surely. This is very important for our Deaf children not just for me!

    Honest! I never forgetten about how well Mr. Jerry Hassell who taught me all about how very important to be work together while I was a member board of TAD (Texas) before he passed away, I would love to give him very biggest honor! He also taught me how very important is to allow our Deaf young adults to work with us Deaf older adults as to carry our Deaf histories. Of course, I moved out of Texas into another states for some major reasons, I even joined these states assoication of the Deaf and became a member board of these states during these years, now I’m back in Texas and got lost!

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