UE faculty votes no confidence in president’s plan; USI faculty releases statement of support

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EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) Friday, the University of Evansville completed a faculty-wide vote and endorsed the Faculty Senate’s vote of no confidence in the President’s draft academic alignment plan. The faculty supported the Senate by a margin of 106 votes to 19 with three abstentions.

The resolution expressing the faculty and Senate’s lack of confidence in the President’s plan will be sent to the President and requests a written response within the next seven days.

The Senate resolution the faculty supports points out that the President’s draft plan does not recognize their role within the university’s shared governance structure.

The Faculty Senate of the University of Southern Indiana has released a statement of support for the faculty of the University of Evansville:

“The faculty of the University of Southern Indiana stand in solidarity with their colleagues at the University of Evansville. While we acknowledge the financial difficulties prevalent in higher education, we are deeply troubled that deep cuts in both majors and faculty at the University of Evansville were proposed without faculty input. This demonstrates a profound lack of commitment to shared governance, a foundational principle to include the campus community in important decision making at universities.

As our UE colleagues wrote in a recent editorial in the Courier and Press, these cuts will limit the University’s ability to carry out its core mission “to promote the general interests of education and to qualify men and women to engage in the employments and professions of society” and reduce the ability of students to “explore new realms of knowledge and to encounter life-changing ideas.” The draft plan cuts programs and capabilities that are at the very foundation of a well-rounded liberal arts education, including those in History, English, World Languages, Mathematics, Music, and the sciences.

The faculty of the University of Southern Indiana appreciates the complementary efforts of the faculty at the historic University of Evansville in offering quality education to our region.

We believe that unilateral decision making that ignores shared governance in institutions of higher education seriously risks compromising the ability of universities to provide quality higher education for the betterment of everyone in the community and the region.”

Save UE released the following statement Saturday:

“We, the faculty of the University of Evansville, greatly appreciate this thoughtful and generous statement and we are extremely grateful to our colleagues at the University of Southern Indiana for offering it. They understand the situation because they have also recently been threatened with substantial and damaging cuts. The response to those threats from the Faculty Senate of the University of Southern Indiana has been magnificent. The senators have worked tirelessly to ensure that the faculty plays its designated role at the university. We are proud to call the senators and all the faculty at the University of Southern Indiana our colleagues.”

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(This story was originally published on December 26, 2020)

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