UU Enforcer has an entertaining summary of the collapse of the Starr King/Meadville Lombard merger.
FWIW, Meadville pissed me off mightily at GA. I went to their fundraising breakfast and they showed a documentary with these people who had lost their son in 9-11 and the incredibly smug minister who helped them through it yet seems to talk mostly about himself. (If he's a good guy who got a bad edit, I can believe that.) In addition, there was lengthy bit about how another guy wanted to be there, but his wife had cancer. That part included a brief history of their life together and a cataloging of her surgeries. The cancer speech combined with the 9-11 video set up a tone that was far and away the most blatant attempt I've ever seen to get people's emotions up so they would be primed to give away money. And there were a couple of old people who had suffered some personal tragedy who also talked, but I've forgotten what their issue was.
I NEVER saw one of my Congressional fundraising clients put on an event so inherently cynical, and I saw a lot of cynicism.
Naturally, no where in the event did they really talk about Meadville, where they were going as an institution and what they offered that other schools didn't. The focus was not at all "Let's show them that we're a good investment," it was more "let's get them upset and vulnerable at eight a.m. and then lay a guilt trip."
Lee Barker doesn't come off well in the UU Enforcer's peice, but he was the most tolerable part of the breakfast presentation and the only one who seemed to get that his audience was composed of reasonable people who were thoughful about where they gave their money.
That said, if he and Rebecca Parker literally can't stand to be in the same room, wew need to pick more mature people to run our seminaries.