Mensa sacks its first woman chief after board feud

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The Independent Online
THE FIRST woman to chair Mensa has been sacked after the organisation's board of directors passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in her, only nine months after she took up the post.

Julie Baxter, 45, a barrister's wife from Lancashire, was ousted following allegations that she failed to take action over a clandestine campaign to remove two Mensa directors.

Opponents of Mrs Baxter reportedly claimed that the removal of the two directors would have been to her benefit because she had sided with other directors in a row over the way the organisation - whose membership includes the most intelligent 2 per cent of people in Britain, as assessed by an IQ test - was run.

Mrs Baxter, who has an IQ of 154, is said to have been ousted on Sunday after she refused to sanction an external investigation into the matter. She remains a member of the board.

She had high hopes of reforming the troubled organisation after she replaced Sir Clive Sinclair as chairman last October. Mrs Baxter is believed to be determined to fight on and re-establish herself as chairman and intends to challenge the board to explain its actions in public.

She has reportedly claimed that her problems began shortly after taking over from Sir Clive. She made one member redundant and circulated a document in which he had admitted clandestine lobbying to influence elections to the board in order to oust two of Sir Clive's old supporters. Although Mrs Baxter insists she brought his activities to light in the first place, other board members claim she should have acted earlier.

Some members wanted to engage a private detective agency, but Mrs Baxter held out against them and allegedly insisted that internal procedures should be allowed to run their course. She claims she was removed as chairman because she insisted the board take legal advice before going ahead with an external investigation.