November 19, 2023

Newfields board member resigns following abrupt departure of CEO

Stock photo - WFYI Staff

Stock photo

WFYI Staff
Staff, Indianapolis Recorder

Adrienne Sims is the latest to resign from the board of Newfields in the wake of the departure of CEO Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette.

In an email obtained by the Recorder, Sims, who serves as the chief human resources officer at IU Health, resigned from her position on the Newfields board on Nov. 17.

“With this email, I submit my resignation from the Newfields board of trustees and my position on the human resources committee,” wrote Sims.

“As a seasoned HR executive, I believe in the importance of strong HR practices, collaborative decision-making and adherence to proper governance procedures for the well-being of the organization. Recent leadership decisions were not made in an inclusive and consultative manner, which has been disheartening," she said.

"I hope that in the future, decisions of this nature will be approached with integrity and demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect for all.”

Sims’ exit follows the board resignations of Otto Frenzel IV, who resigned in early October, and Gary Hirschberg, who left on Nov. 10, just hours before Burnette’s departure. No official comment has been made explaining Burnette’s exit.

Burnette was hired as CEO following a controversial job description posted by the previous CEO in which a director was sought who could maintain the museum’s “traditional, core white audience.” The post, generated in 2021, gained national attention and demands from the community at large for more inclusivity from the museum.

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