Faculty Senate passes no-confidence resolution, evaluation resolution

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

The Faculty Senate passed two resolutions, the no-confidence vote results and the evaluation of administrative staff, at their meeting Tuesday.

The no-confidence results came after a weeklong vote in their confidence of the performance of Blair Lord, vice president for academic affairs.

Out of the 349 people who participated in the vote, 67.6 percent voted no confidence, and 261 eligible voters did not participate.

Although the meeting was originally going to be partially closed, the Faculty Senate chose to keep the whole session open after consulting with the University Counsel.

The resolution states the Faculty Senate heard the votes and will continue to serve the faculty by “maintaining open communication with President (David) Glassman about this matter, inviting faculty feedback and responses regarding this matter and representing faculty concerns to the president, Board of Trustees, and other entities on campus as the matter is addressed.”

Jeannie Ludlow, the coordinator of women’s studies, said she proposed the resolution to reassure fellow faculty that the senate would not just put out the results of the referendum and be silent.

“We will continue to represent the faculty on this matter,” Ludlow said.

Teshome Abebe, an economics professor, said he did not think the resolution was necessary because the senate already works with administrators.

“I think the way we are going to show that the message was received is what we do from this point on and not just passing this kind of resolution,” Abebe said.

Jason Waller, a philosophy professor, said he understood the job of the Faculty Senate to make recommendations to the administration.

“I think we would be remiss if we didn’t pass a resolution making specific recommendations to the president on the basis of this vote,” Waller said. “This isn’t a topic I want to have a conversation about. But that’s what (the faculty) wants us to do. They’ve spoken very clearly.”

Steven Scher, a psychology professor, said he did not think they needed to make a resolution that tells the president the results of the vote, because of Lord is a well-known person.

Waller said since the president received the results he needs to decide what to do with them.

“He’s going to receive advice from lots of people, and one of the people he’s going to receive recommendations from is this body,” Waller said. “We can’t force the president to do anything. We’re just making a recommendation for what we believe.”

Grant Sterling, a philosophy professor, said one of his concerns was he did not think the Faculty Senate needed to tell the president what happened during the vote.

“I am hearing from faculty who say ‘OK, now that the referendum is over, now that the votes are in, Faculty Senate as representatives of the faculty ought to at least say something about what it means,’” Sterling said.

Sterling said the Faculty Senate went out of their way to say it was not their idea to have the vote and he did not want the perception to be that all the senate was going to do was hand over the results to the president.

“I would like us to pass a resolution that’s at least a little stronger than this,” Sterling said.

Amy Rosenstein, a special education professor, said she heard other people say they are wondering why they are just looking at one vice president.

“There are a lot of things we’re really not talking about and I don’t know if that’s because they’re uncomfortable topics,” Rosenstein said. “I don’t know why we’re looking at this in different ways.”

Rosenstein said it was important to think about the fact that not everyone was thinking about the issue in the same way.

Bailey Young, a history professor, said he had heard that there are people who had reservations about the timing of the vote.

Abebe said people could have stopped the vote and circumstances surrounding the vote from happening a long time ago.

The second resolution the Faculty Senate passed was about the current administrator evaluation system.

Abebe said the perceived weaknesses of the current evaluation is that it has failed to identify weaknesses of administrators at all levels; it has not adjusted to the demands of the times and there is the possibility of collusion between supervisors and administrators. It ignores faculty, some administrators are not evaluated yearly and the people who have the capacity to create the most damage are evaluated the least.

The resolution advises President Glassman to change the current system or find a new system of evaluating administrators so that is transparent, effective, less prone to misuse and includes faculty involvement.

The Faculty Senate also named Linda Ghent, an economics professor, as the winner of the Luis Clay Mendez Distinguished Service Award.


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]