Board of Trustees and Chancellor Office Attention and Response to Faculty Votes of No Confidence



RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate California State University (ASCSU) reaffirm its support for AS-2305-96/FA “Investigation of a Vote of No Confidence,” and urge the Chancellor to apply the procedures and act in the spirit of that resolution to the votes of no confidence that occurred in spring 2007; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU express its serious concern about public statements by members of the Board of Trustees or others in CSU system leadership positions that could be construed as both dismissive and condescending toward faculty votes of no confidence, as occurred in Spring 2007; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU encourage the Chancellor’s Office to work with the ASCSU to develop a systematic assessment of faculty satisfaction with their administrative leadership across all CSU campuses in an effort to mitigate the need for the extremely serious measures reflected in a vote of no confidence.

RATIONALE: The rationale for AS-2305-96/FA, “Investigation of a Vote of No Confidence,” clearly sets forth the seriousness of a no confidence vote and its potentially negative impact on the integrity of campus educational programs and campus morale.  Subsequent to adoption of that resolution, the Chancellor’s Office did conduct investigations on votes of no confidence and shared results of those investigations with the ASCSU.

In spring 2007, votes of no confidence occurred at two CSU campuses, both of which were supported by a significant majority of faculty.  Subsequent to these votes, statements were made by certain members of the Board of Trustees that appeared to dismiss and even denigrate faculty and their concerns before any reasonable fact-finding had occurred (Board of Trustees Public Comment, May 16, 2007; “CSU Trustees Express Support for Campus Presidents at Sacramento and Sonoma,” Press Release California State University, Public Affairs, May 16, 2007; “SSU Faculty Approves ‘No-Confidence’ in President,” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, May 19, 2007).  The faculty on both campuses still await an informed response from the Chancellor’s Office to their concerns, one that fairly represents the perspectives of all constituencies.

The Academic Senate, therefore, calls upon both the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees to reflect upon the seriousness of concerns expressed by faculty in the recent votes of no confidence and those that subsequently may occur, to investigate such votes of no confidence prior to public statements being made, to report findings to the campus community and the ASCSU, and to consider any actions which may be taken to address those concerns.  In addition, given the seriousness of a vote of no confidence and the negative impacts it may have on the campus programs and community, we urge the Chancellor’s Office to consider strategies for assessing faculty satisfaction on individual campuses with the goal of resolving, whenever possible, disputes between faculty and administration before they reach the level of a no confidence vote.

Approved Without Dissent November 8, 2007

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