Phi Beta Cons

The No-Confidence Vote

…or threat thereof, has increasingly become the weapon of choice of faculties to work their way on campuses, e.g., in recent times, at Harvard, Pace, Gallaudet, Case Western Reserve, Baylor and the U. of Maine at Presque Isle (as The New York Times reports).

Academics are of course free to formally pronounce their lack of support for administrative decisions, deserving or not of such ukases. Yet it is time to critically examine such votes – before which university presidents and boards reflexively quake and submit – as to their content, motives and consequences for the academic and financial well-being good of a campus as a whole.
The no-confidence vote can be honorable and justifiable. But it can also be wielded against necessary educational and fiscal reforms that righteously threaten faculties’ self-interest.
University-watchers, take a closer look at the “no-con vote,” and, when warranted, denounce it. Embolden university administrators.