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Friday, June 21, 2024
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CAS faculty votes confidence in Schulze, no confidence in Tripathi and Weber

78% of voting faculty participated in the confidence referendum that concluded last Friday

<p>Last Friday, faculty voted whether they had confidence in CAS Dean Robin Schulze, Provost A. Scott Weber and UB President Satish K. Tripathi.</p>

Last Friday, faculty voted whether they had confidence in CAS Dean Robin Schulze, Provost A. Scott Weber and UB President Satish K. Tripathi.

In an asynchronous confidence referendum vote that concluded last Friday, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) faculty voted that they have confidence in the performance of CAS Dean Robin Schulze and no confidence in the performances of UB President Satish K. Tripathi and Provost A. Scott Weber.

Cagatay Kutluhan, the CAS Policy Committee chair, told The Spectrum that the official outcome of the vote is “nothing more than the numerical results that were reported to the CAS voting faculty.” 

“A confidence vote by the voting faculty is a referendum whose outcome is advisory,”  Kutluhan said in an email to The Spectrum. “No policy proposal or resolution is adopted, no binding decision is made, and no further action has to be taken.”

Kutluhan also said that the favorable two-thirds majority requirement mentioned in Article VII, Section IV of the CAS Bylaws only applies to “referenda regarding actions in areas where the faculty have governance responsibility” and that the confidence vote is meant to be “an expression of the CAS voting faculty’s views of the CAS and University leadership.”

“CAS Policy Committee and voting faculty do not have jurisdiction over the CAS and University leadership,” Kutluhan said. 

The confidence referendum comes after Schulze announced a plan to reevaluate the CAS budget model due to a rapid expansion of faculty, in combination with decreased tuition revenue and transfer students. Before the announcement, Classics Department students have led protests for over a month where multiple demonstrators have called for Schulze’s resignation.

The vote was delayed in April due to low attendance of voting CAS faculty; the 180 members in attendance fell short of the 219 member quorum. The decision to have the confidence referendum was passed early May, with three separate motions for Schulze, Tripathi and Weber.

Faculty supported Schulze in a 269-175 vote with 45 abstentions. 229 members voted having no confidence in Weber, while 180 voted that they did and 80 members abstained. In a tight vote of 214-194 with 81 abstentions, faculty also voted no confidence in Tripathi.

John Della Contrada, the university spokesperson, told The Spectrum that CAS is on a “positive trajectory in support of College and university goals” and that the president and provost continue to support the University and CAS in “delivering on its mission of excellence.”

“The College also has elevated its research and scholarly productivity and impact with research expenditures increasing significantly since 2016,” Della Contrada said in an email to The Spectrum. “These measures have been achieved through strong faculty effort and sustained financial support from the university.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include comments from CAS Policy Committee chair Cagatay Kutluhan regarding the confidence vote’s significance, a clarification regarding the events before the confidence referendum and a statement from university spokesperson John Della Contrada. CAS did not respond for comment at the time of this update.

Mylien Lai is the senior news editor and can be reached at mylien.lai@ubspectrum.com


MYLIEN LAI
mylien-lai.jpg

Mylien Lai is the senior news editor at The Spectrum. Outside of getting lost in Buffalo, she enjoys practicing the piano and being a bean plant mom. She can be found at @my_my_my_myliennnn on Instagram. 

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