A Statement from the AWP Board of Trustees on the Dismissal of Dr. Chloe Schwenke
September 15, 2019
The AWP Board of Trustees categorically denies Dr. Schwenke’s allegations that she was dismissed as the Executive Director due to her transgender status. Given our governance and fiduciary responsibilities on behalf of all AWP members, the board acted quickly when it learned of multiple financial and workplace issues and specifically decisions Dr. Schwenke made. The board is working closely with an auditing firm to have a final reconciliation of last year’s financials and, as it does every year, the board will publish those findings as soon as the report is completed.
Even as we work through resolution of issues raised by staff and by a financial review, it is important to state that the endowments held by AWP remain strong and all programming, including the conference and membership services, continues uninterrupted. The staff and board are more committed than ever to serving all members.
While the board cannot speak directly to the resignations of Robin Reagler and David Haynes, it is our understanding that, having each already served two terms, their decisions to leave were for personal reasons.
We are disappointed that Dr. Schwenke has decided to use her own place in our community to wage a campaign to defame others, including members of the board, whose volunteer service is essential to maintaining a healthy governance framework for the organization.
—The Association of Writers & Writing Programs’ Board of Trustees