Wright State University’s faculty has voted by a wide margin that it has no confidence in the school’s board of trustees.
Out of 735 full-time faculty, 440 cast a ballot in a vote of no confidence facilitated by the WSU faculty senate. Of the 440 who weighed in, 87 percent voted they had no confidence in the board and 13 percent voted they had confidence, according to a report of the results from the faculty senate.
Doug Fecher, chairman of Wright State’s board of trustees said he thinks the vote is a reflection of the recent 20-day faculty union strike that ended last month.
“I’m not concerned about it,” Fecher said. “I don’t put much stock in it.”
The faculty senate will now forward the results onto Gov. Mike DeWine’s office and Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education Randy Gardner and will await their response, said Travis Doom, faculty president.
Doom declined to comment directly on the vote, saying he wanted to remain neutral on it. The faculty senate meets this afternoon.
Voting began March 11 and ended at 5 p.m. Friday, according to a faculty senate web page. Any confidence vote can be launched if 50 or more faculty members petition the senate for one, Doom said.
A petition called for a vote of no confidence based on several issues including Wright State’s ongoing budget problems and a federal investigation into H-1B visa misuse that was settled last year for $1 million. In a rebuttal, trustees wrote that they were working to correct financial issues and other problems that have plagued the school in recent years.
The faculty senate is a separate group from the faculty union, the Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors. But, the senate does include members of the union, such as Doom.
The vote comes about six weeks or so after a 20-day faculty strike ended at WSU. The issue of bargaining over health care became the principle issue during contract negotiations that led to the strike.
Fecher has said the vote came about at a time when the university should be trying to come together instead of continuing to “fight the battles of the past.”
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