NVU joint faculty assembly unanimously votes No Confidence in Chancellor Spaulding

VSCS+Chancellor+Jeb+Spaulding+in+2017.+Spaulding%27s+plan+to+shutter+3+VSC+campuses+has+been+met+with+controversy+and+outrage.

vtdigger.org

VSCS Chancellor Jeb Spaulding in 2017. Spaulding's plan to shutter 3 VSC campuses has been met with controversy and outrage.

Just after 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, an unofficial joint NVU faculty assembly of over 50 members from both campuses unanimously voted “No Confidence” in VSCS Chancellor Jeb Spaulding. The vote came less than 48 hours after Spaulding’s original announcement that he would recommend the VSCS Board of Trustees close both campuses of NVU and the Randolph campus of VTC.  

Also at the meeting were a couple of staff members and two student journalists, one from each campus of NVU.

At the beginning of the meeting at 5:00, Meaghan Meachem, the representative for the Lyndon Alumni Council and associate professor of digital and broadcast journalism, announced that the LAC had officially voted no confidence in Jeb and the Trustees in two separate votes in the same meeting. After the JAC vote, said representative Lauren Philie, the joint Alumni Council would release a letter which articulated the vote of No Confidence.

You can read the letter from the Joint Alumni Council here.

“We believe,” said Meachem, referring to the LAC, “that Jeb [Spaulding]’s actions are being driven by the Board of Trustees.”

Daniel Daley, faculty assembly chair for Lyndon, motioned that the vote be taken sooner rather than later, so that the release could get out that same night. While a normal meeting might require 48 hours’ notice, the quorum of both Lyndon and Johnson faculty decided against the warning, citing little time to get the release out.

Johnson Faculty Assembly Chair Tyrone Shaw noted that Castleton and VTC would also be taking a vote of no confidence in Spaulding and the Board.

“If we vote no confidence,” asked Barclay Tucker, “what does that really do?”

“It would get the board to appreciate the level of dismay engendered through the state,” replied Shaw.

Several professors asked that the motion be limited to a vote against Spaulding, excluding the Board, which was accepted. The meeting also agreed that the language in the press release would be written by the Executive Committees, which met after the initial meeting.

Another proposal by a professor was a motion to delay classes or reduce their academic load this week, to give students a break. Shaw agreed, and suggested that professors give as much leniency as possible to students who might be in, as another put it, “crisis mode.”

The letter, as worded by the Executive Committee, was sent to the Board of Trustees at 11:00 that night. It cites, among other things, the Chancellor Spaulding has “regularly not fulfilled his responsibilities to serve the students of the Vermont State Colleges System or the people of Vermont.” 

“He has repeatedly made decisions without adequate consultation or a thorough analysis of
complete data,” the letter goes on to say. “He has consistently made recommendations without thoughtful consideration of the longterm consequences.”

“Given these egregious violations of the Vermont State Colleges System’s core mission,” it reads, “the
Faculty Assemblies of Northern Vermont University vote no confidence in Chancellor Jeb Spaulding.”

The letter is signed by Daley and Shaw. You can read the letter in full below.

NVU VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE

Community members who would like to also ‘vote no confidence’ can sign this petition, written by NVU-Johnson student Emily Mixon.