So today was a big day today, as something pretty rare occurred. A university wide faculty assembly was held to discuss a vote of no confidence in Gordon Gee, the President, and to call for the immediate cessation of the “Academic Transformation.” President Gee, to the surprise of many, was in attendance and gave a give minute presentation, and the room was silent as all get out. When he ran out of time he muttered something about free speech and then continued on until various faculty shouted “POINT OF ORDER” and he was gaveled down.
Several faculty spoke, some in direct response to things just stated by Gee. A vote was then held, and the faculty voted 797-100 to signal NO CONFIDENCE in Gee.
The assembly then took up the second resolution to vote to stop the transformation. Provost Maryanne Reed, former professor, former Dean of Journalism, and self-described leaser of the academic transformation initiative, requested to speak for five minutes. This was put to a vote.
Faculty then spent a half hour voting, the vote failed 400 hundred something against and several hundred four, and decided not to listen to her for five minutes. Instead, several faculty used the allotted 90 seconds they were given to say why the resolution should be passed.
Faculty then voted, and the resolution passed 747-79.
To fully appreciate and understand how lopsided these margins are, you need to appreciate how argumentative faculty are- you could put twenty of them in a room for hours to pass a resolution for free ice cream and infinite puppy kisses and not only would they not be able to come up with a conclusion, the resolution wouldn’t be written until someone wrote it themselves and at the next meeting said here I wrote the resolution taking into account everyone’s advice, and it would get unanimously approved because there was something new to argue about this meeting.
Not only that, someone would say something that would be the foundation of a decade long grudge that will at some point over the next 20 years impact a doctoral thesis, and the hatchet would not be buried fully until one faculty member had been dead for ten years and the other a professor emeritus in waning health.
At any rate, immediately after the vote, the Board of Governors released a statement that had been written before the vote even happened expressing full support in President Gee and telling the faculty to go fuck themselves.
Not wanting to be left out, Governor Jim Justice, himself an unwitting display of the health of education in West Virginia, also had what we will charitably call thoughts:
Bless his heart.