Home / General / Barnard faculty just took a no-confidence vote regarding President Laura Rosenbury

Barnard faculty just took a no-confidence vote regarding President Laura Rosenbury

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The results were fairly emphatic:

On Monday, April 22nd, Barnard members of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) took a vote to issue a statement of “no confidence” in President Rosenbury. It passed 102-0.

According to a document released on the Barnard Members of AAUP website, “[faculty] did not have confidence in President Laura Rosenbury’s ability to serve as President of Barnard College.”

“We do not take lightly the prospect of subjecting our president to a vote of no confidence, particularly given that two high-profile women presidents have already lost their jobs in recent months,” the document says, which outlines five central reasons for the AAUP members’ vote. “But we have come to the regrettable conclusion that the current situation is no longer sustainable. President Rosenbury’s administration has done damage to the College at virtually every level of responsibility.” 

First, the statement describes a “lack of care for students.” Specifically, “the administration has treated students arbitrarily and in an unfair manner in both the deployment of new policies, such as the demonstration policy and the policy with regard to dorm room doors, and in the enforcement of those policies.”

Second, the Barnard members of the AAUP cite as a concern “ignoring shared governance, including implementing the policy on demonstrations over the direct objection of the faculty in faculty meeting and the subsequent enforcement of that policy against our students in an arbitrary and chaotic manner.” 

Third, the document accuses the administration of “repeated violations of academic freedom and free expression,” such as “changing policies to create prior restraint on academic freedom and free expression.”

Fourth, the faculty in the AAUP have experienced “administrative chaos at every level of the college.” The AAUP writes, “the basic functioning of the College has been undermined and basic tasks have become increasingly difficult to undertake. Staff members have resigned because the demands placed on them are unreasonable and unsustainable.”

Fifth and finally, the chapter denounces the President for “undermining the longstanding and cherished culture of Barnard College.” The document characterizes President Rosenbury’s leadership style as “punitive, divisive, and non-consultative,” which has consequently “driven a wedge between the administration on the one hand and students and faculty on the other.”

“[Rosenbury] has demonstrated no understanding of the College’s culture and community and no respect for our values,” the document says. “Under her leadership in the last ten months, relationships have frayed, trust has fractured, and our campus has become virtually unrecognizable.”

Rosenbury got the Barnard job by feverishly manipulating the University of Florida’s law school’s ranking via, among other things, cratering the school’s operating budget. She subsequently made a mess of student protests at the college.

So caveat emptor or res ipsa loquitur or something.

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