There are many things to say about the vote of no confidence and the following board meeting.
By every account I’ve read and heard, the board meeting today was packed with about two dozen non-faculty who voiced support of the chancellor. This included US Representative Bobby Rush, who claimed that we shouldn’t even be discussing a vote of no confidence, and that the Chancellor has been doing an outstanding job. An international student spoke and claimed he was fine with the enormous tuition hike. The chair of the board voiced his support. And after the vote was dropped off at the mayor’s office, the mayor’s office issued a letter of support for the chancellor.
Look. If you were on the board and you wanted to cling to some evidence that the chancellor is doing a good job, then you clearly found it. But it is the shakiest foundation for evidence. Not to get snarky about it, but I’m one of your logic professors, and this looks really really bad. If a student made a case with the same strength of induction as was demonstrated here, I’d need to talk to him about whether they’ve been doing their exercises…or even paying attention to the basic principles of induction.
Do you understand what the faculty has done to voice their opinion? They did not simply ask a couple dozen people to speak against the chancellor. This time, they brought their big guns. Thanks to the heroic efforts of Phil Vargas and Jeni Meresman in conducting local and district wide surveys, we know where the faculty stand thanks to them, and all the faculty who supported them. In the past week, conducted a thorough vote with 97% participation from the faculty. This way, we know the what the faculty overwhelmingly, and nearly unanimously, are claiming.
District administrators like data. They’ve said it again and again.
The faculty brought the comprehensive, definitive data, while district brought little more than cherry picked anecdotes that provide no strong basis for what they wanted to claim. If the board wished to exercise any critical thought, they would have seen through it.
There’s another question that comes of this, but it will have to come in a later post. I’ll leave it here for now:
What does it mean that 90% of HWC faculty voted “no confidence?” What does it mean when more or less your entire academic arm claims that their leader is failing at supporting academics? Do you consider what they have to say? Or do you dismiss them?
Bobby Rush claimed that the faculty are just afraid of change. “(Faculty) fight change with everything they have, because change threatens their sense of being comfortable,” he said. “We ought to be commending and applauding her for her results. Why are we here this morning even discussing a vote of confidence for Chancellor Hyman?”
Are you actually serious when you accuse us of being afraid of change? Does the board believe that? Does the chancellor actually believe that?
At a speech a few months ago, Chancellor Hyman dismissed the “whiners,” which I can’t help but understand as her moniker for “faculty.” At the very least, she described the whiners’ claims in the same way she’s described the faculty’s claims.
So, the next questions are two:
1. What does it mean that 90% of the HWC faculty have declared “no confidence?”
2. What do Hyman, Pernot, Rasmus, and the rest of the crew understand it as meaning?
And another question, perhaps for a third post:
3. What brought us here, anyway? What could district have done differently while still pursuing their mission statement to have avoided this place?