Brennan Stebbins

University President Bruce Speck said Wednesday that a Faculty Senate vote of no confidence delivered earlier in the day did not surprise him. “I think they have determined in many ways they’re going to take a vote,” Speck said. “I didn’t know what they were going to do, I just felt it was my responsibility to give them a response before they voted because that would be material they could look at.”Speck provided the Faculty Senate with a nine-page response to an ad hoc committee’s report detailing why a vote of no confidence is necessary. A final version of that report was given to Speck last week, and he distributed copies of his response before administrators were excused from the meeting. Dr. Scott Cragin, associate professor of marketing, then moved to hold a Faculty Senate vote on the issue of confidence in Speck. “I personally want to see closure on this issue,” Faculty Senate President Roger Chelf said. Confusion over whether or not the Senate had formally accepted the committee report ensued, however, and Cragin withdrew his motion so the Senate could vote to accept the report. The motion was later reintroduced, and copies of a ballot containing two options: “I have confidence in President Bruce Speck,” and “I do not have confidence in President Bruce Speck,” were passed to senators. Paul Teverow asked to add an amendment that would allow senators to choose a third option on the ballot, to defer a vote until February, allowing more time to assess whether Speck was following directives from the Board of Governors to improve relations with faculty. That amendment failed by a 19-8 vote. A ballot vote to determine whether or not to hold a Senate vote on confidence in Speck then passed 20-7, and a Faculty Senate vote of no confidence was handed down by a 21-5 margin. “Based upon the President’s actions, it could have been worse,” Cragin said. “It could have been more lopsided.”Not everyone was satisfied with the result. Dr. Cheryl Cifelli, assistant professor of music, called the actions taken by the Senate “unfortunate.””The school has tremendous potential and it’s doing some really great things, but this whole process is overshadowing everything else,” she said. “It would have been better if the whole situation could not have happened.”