By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV
A resolution expressing ‘no confidence’ in President Gordon Gee and his administration at West Virginia University will be introduced to the University Assembly as soon as next week.
The resolution accuses President Gee of financial mismanagement, not putting student interests first, failing to communicate with the university community, and coercing faculty into being silent. Read the full resolution here.
After laying out these charges, the resolution concludes by saying, “THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the University Assembly of West Virginia University has no confidence in President E. Gordon Gee’s ability to responsibly, honestly, and effectively lead, facilitate, and participate in decision-making related to any institutional transformation or restructuring at this university; and THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the University Assembly of West Virginia University has no confidence in President E. Gordon Gee to continue to serve as leader of West Virginia University.”
The University Assembly, which is composed of all full-time faculty at WVU, could meet next week and consider the resolution. According to internal bylaws, twenty-five percent of the faculty must be present for the entire meeting for it to be official. The assembly is an umbrella organization over the Faculty Senate, but neither holds power over the university or the Gee administration.
The Faculty Constitution gives the University Assembly and the Faculty Senate the power to make recommendations. Article 2b reads, “Members of the University Assembly may express, by formal resolution, their opinion on any question relating to policy or administration of the University.”
This isn’t the first time President Gee and his administration, including Provost Maryanne Reed, have faced a ‘no confidence’ vote. In December 2021, the Faculty Senate rejected a ‘no confidence’ proposal by a vote of 20 in favor and 103 against.
Since then, WVU has proposed $45 million in academic cuts to close a budget deficit over the next two years. The administration’s proposals include eliminating departments such as World Languages, Public Administration, Math, and more. They also propose eliminating numerous faculty positions. For a full list of proposed academic cuts, see our previous coverage.
In advance of the University Assembly meeting, President Gee met with the Faculty Senate yesterday to take questions. In response to criticisms over proposed academic cuts, he said, “We are pruning in order to plant.”
Stay tuned to RealWV for updates on this story.