Magazine article The Christian Century

Dean Quits Seminary Post amid Controversy

Magazine article The Christian Century

Dean Quits Seminary Post amid Controversy

Article excerpt

R. William Franklin resigned as dean of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, effective New Year's Day, to take a new position in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. But he left New Haven, Connecticut, dogged by allegations in a newspaper story that said an audit revealed he took school funds for his own personal use--charges countered by the Berkeley board of trustees.

Berkeley Divinity School, affiliated with Yale Divinity School, is a seminary of the Episcopal Church 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.

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 percent during his dean-ship. He also launched the award-winning Berkeley at Yale magazine.

A report in the Hartford Courant said his departure was related to the findings of an internal audit of Berkeley undertaken by Yale as part of renegotiating 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 Courant reported that an audit of the school's records between July 1999 and June 2001 showed that Franklin used school funds for his daughter's Harvard Medical School tuition and personal expenses, including dry cleaning; some $8,500 in dental bills for his daughter; and airline tickets worth about $933 for his daughter and wife to attend the 2000 Episcopal convention in Denver. …

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