2 prominent members quit Boston U. board of trustees

Moves come amid crisis over school's leadership

October 29, 2003|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Two nationally known members of Boston University's board of trustees have resigned amid the crisis gripping the university over whether Daniel S. Goldin will be allowed to take the president's office.

Kenneth Feld, owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, a founder of the Hollywood studio DreamWorks SKG, both resigned last week, BU confirmed yesterday.

The two were among the highest-profile members of the board and represented some of its deepest pockets. They are ranked on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans - Katzenberg with $800 million and Feld with $775 million.

Both resigned before the board's executive committee held a vote of no confidence in Goldin last Friday, but after a contentious trustee meeting Oct. 15 and 16 in which Goldin and many trustees appeared to be heading toward an impasse over issues of Goldin's authority and that of outgoing Chancellor John Silber.

The executive committee, made up of 24 of the most active and influential board members, scheduled the entire board of trustees to meet this Friday to vote on whether to rescind Goldin's job offer. Goldin sent the trustees a letter this week strongly signaling his desire to take office as scheduled Saturday, setting up a high-level struggle over the university's leadership.

Katzenberg declined to comment yesterday through a spokesman. Feld could not be reached.

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