But she said she never heard back from Dowless or anyone at the university, so she was surprised in March when she received an email from an administrative assistant at Shorter asking if she was attending a Board of Trustees’ meeting.
“I emailed her back and said I was not approved on the board,” McNiece said. “She emailed me back and said, I think you are.”
She went to the board meeting even though she was unsure about her status but said no one talked to her. She assumed she wasn’t on the Board of Trustees.
McNiece said she was surprised when Shorter University’s May 4 commencement program listed her on the Board of Trustees as “Mayor Evie McNiece.”
She later wrote an email to Dowless saying she did want to be on the board. But to this day, she has never heard anything from Dowless or anyone from Shorter except for that administrative assistant, she said.
According to Shorter spokeswoman Dawn Tolbert, however, McNiece was on the Board of Trustees but resigned. She referred any further questions about the situation to McNiece.
McNiece said, to her knowledge, she had never been approved by the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Baptist Convention, which also has to give its approval.
The situation is a misunderstanding between McNiece and Dowless, said Nelson Price, who was chairman of the board when McNiece was asked to join last year.
“Two very special people, both who have admirable character, have a misunderstanding which can easily be resolved,” Price said.
McNiece said while she accepted the invitation last June, she doesn’t feel as if she could now.
“I do love Shorter,” she said. “It is an asset to our city. Unfortunately, they are in turmoil now.”
More than 60 staff and faculty members resigned after the Board of Trustees passed a measure that required them to sign a Faith and Personal Lifestyle statement in which they agree, among other things, to “reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality.”