People have asked the following questions of the Transition Task Force via email, our Zoom calls, or on the Transition Task Force website. We are responding to the best of our ability and knowledge. We are checking for answers to the questions for which we do not know the answers. At the same time, there are no answers for some questions; they will need to be answered in time.
This F.A.Q. is an evolving document. We have answered questions to best of our knowledge and tried to be clear, but we expect updates will happen.
Questions and Answers
Q: What is the responsibilities and decision-making power of the Interim Board?
A: All legal and financial issues.
Q: Does the Interim Board have authority over the Process Team?
A: They are collaborative but, ultimately, yes.
Q: Does the Interim Board report to the Potrang? Does the Interim Board report to anyone?
Q: Does Interim Board have authority over Potrang assets?
Q: What are the restrictions on the Interim Board?
A: The Interim Board cannot change the Shambhala Bylaws.
Q: Would the Interim Board be precluded from making recommendations or actions contrary to “established bylaws”?
A: Yes. The Interim Board will not have the power to change the Shambhala bylaws.
Q: Will members of the Interim Board need to be up to date with American, or Canadian law and finance systems?
A: Not necessarily. They do need to be willing to learn about the underlying legal or financial implications for any decisions that need to be made.
Q: You specify that Board members are voluntary. Is there a potential to pay members of the process team?
A: That is possible. The Interim Board and/or the Process Team could make that decision.
Q: What is Interim Board responsible for? USA and Canada?
A: Worldwide. Europe is separate incorporation, but is a subsidiary of Shambhala USA and Potrang organizationally.
Q: Will the Interim Board be able to know/have reports about the finances of the Potrang?
A: Here are links to the recent financial reports released by Shambhala, the Potrang, Nalanda, and SMC.
Q: What is the seat of the Interim Board? What does Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche still control?
A: The Interim Board is legally the top entity of Shambhala. The Sakyong has stepped back from hiring and firing board and employees and has stepped back from any organizational responsibilities for one year as of the time the Interim Board is seated.
Q: How will the Interim Board gain the confidence of the community?
A: First, Transition Task Force will do what it can to help seat the Interim Board with the community’s confidence and Trust. Second, the Interim Board will need to foster that trust through genuineness, transparency, and communication with the sangha.
Q: Will the Interim Board have a relationship with the Acharyas?
A: Hopefully the Interim Board will have relationship with representatives of all the pillars. It will be up to the Interim Board. Some acharyas have also applied to be on the Interim Board, but it is unclear whether they will be appointed as we still need to review all applicants.
Q: The Process Team is a long process. What will happen with the community healing and trust meanwhile if the Interim Board is only to focus on finance, reports, etc.?
A: Hopefully, the Process Team will develop some communication with the community and also be sharing that with the Interim Board. The idea is that the two groups will collaborate.
Q: When will the Interim Board start?
A: Iwe are currently interviewing applicants, and expect to seat a board by October 6. We’re were originally aiming for September 22 for Interim Board to be seatedi, but finding and interviewing candidates took longer than we had hoped.
Q: If not the Interim Board, who will be handling the day-to-day operations of Shambhala USA etc?
Q: What does “oversight” mean with regard to day-to-day operations?
A: It is recommended and anticipated that most day-to-day operations decisions will be handled at the executive level, but the Interim Board has the final say. At this point, the executive includes Deputy Ministers Charlie Goetzel, Cynthia McKay, Ryan Watson, and Faradee Rudy. Ryan Watson, for example, is authorized to approve expenditures up to a certain amount, but the Interim Board might inquire about project management and expenditures with An Olive Branch.
Q: What is the relationship between the Interim Board, Treasury Council, and Shambhala Media? What are the other operational groups active now in Shambhala USA etc?
A: The Treasury Council oversees the finances of the mandala. This council includes Susan Engle as the Chair, the Director of Finance Ryan Watson, Landy Mallery, Robert Reichner and Josh Silberstein (stepping down once board transition occurs or sooner). But, they don’t hold legal and fiduciary responsibility like the Interim Board will. They gather information and make best recommendations for the Kalapa Council and the future Interim Board to make final financial decisions.
Shambhala Media is moving into the Sakyong Potrang. We will check as to information about the Nalanda Foundation and other operational groups.
Q: How will the hand-off to the next Board work?
A: The Task Force is appointing members of the Interim Board. The Kalapa Council will hand off all they are holding to the Interim Board.
Q: Who nominates/installs the Interim Board?
A: The community is nominating. We are checking on who will conduct the installation.