Vote: No Confidence

Filed in PersonalTags: College, Indiana, RHIT, Terre Haute

The Rose-Hulman faculty pass a resolution of no-confidence in President Jack Midgley, 82-47.

By a vote of 87-42, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology faculty passed a resolution saying they have no confidence in President Jack Midgley.

The vote, which occurred by secret ballot, came during a special faculty meeting Tuesday that lasted more than two hours.

By all accounts, not good news:

Right after the meeting, Grigg went to Midgley's office to inform him. He also planned to contact representatives of the board of trustees.

Asked if he believed the vote would carry a lot of weight with trustees, Grigg said, "It would be very hard to imagine otherwise."

However, as the article notes, the faculty are merely advisory, and the vote is not binding on the Board of Trustees. The initial response from the Board may be essentially a non-comment, or it could be indicative of the weight the Board will place on the vote:

Board of trustee chairman Clyde Willian issued a statement through Dave Piker, vice president for public relations.

"President Midgley has assured the board of trustees that he is absolutely committed to working with the faculty to resolve the concerns that are being discussed," Willian said. "The board is fully aware of the issues presented by the faculty and others.

Based on prevailing sentiment, the result of the vote does not surprise; however, the overwhelming outcome is enlightening. A vote of no-confidence is no trivial matter. For nearly two-thirds of the faculty to vote in favor indicates just how deep the rift has been driven.

I hope Dr. Midgley can recover and repair the obvious wounds created on campus. I truly believe the vision he has shared with the alumni with respect to the future ofRose-Hulman is positive. Perhaps it is not yet too late. But a no-confidence vote affirmed by two-thirds of the faculty sends a very loud, very clear signal.

UPDATE: Coverage from the Indy Star. Interesting note at the end of the article:

Votes of no confidence on university leaders are unusual, but some presidents do survive them. In October 2002, the majority of the faculty of Indiana State University voted against President Lloyd Benjamin after a two-year tenure. The board took no action and he remains president.