After several no-confidence motions, the main chancellor rejoined the party

A no-confidence vote is being added to the University of Maine system, where the leadership has withheld information about Michael Lalibert, which led to his appointment as the next president of the University of Maine in August. Now Daniel Malay, the chancellor responsible for the breach of transparency, is promising an immediate review of the investigation policy and procedures.

Laliberte himself was the subject of two no-confidence votes when he was president of the State University of New York in Delhi, where teachers expressed concern about his leadership style.

Malay and trustee Soven Bartholomew, both members of the search committee who were appointed to Lalibert last month, were aware of the no-confidence vote and decided not to share that information with the rest of the board. Now the Augusta campus faculty has declared a no-confidence motion in both the Senate inquiry যা which it wants to restart এবং and the Chancellor’s leadership. The vote in August prompted a similar move against Malay at Southern Maine University, where the faculty senate also voted no confidence in his leadership.

Malay has since vowed to “restore confidence” in his leadership after the fall of Lalibert. And while the missteps in the presidential search sparked a no-confidence vote, faculty members felt that their problems with Malloy’s leadership extended beyond a single incident.

Three votes and one sit-in

There have been three no-confidence votes across the University of Maine in recent days. The first two came from the Faculty Senate of the University of Maine on May 11 August. A UMA president declared the investigation a failure and requested that it be conducted again.

“The omission from the Chancellor and a member of the Board of Trustees compromised the integrity of the inquiry and damaged the reputation of the UMA and the Maine system,” a faculty Senate resolution announced that was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Others in the system share those sentiments, arguing that the search was a failure due to a lack of transparency, which some say would hurt the new president on the Augusta campus.

“They basically canceled the investigation and tied him up before the new president started, because of the decision of the trustee who was the chairman of the committee and then to confirm Malay’s decision that [search] The committee never acted on that no-confidence vote, “said James McClimer, president of the Associate Faculty at the University of Maine and a professor at the main campus of the University of Maine in Orono. Inside higher ed.

The second no-confidence vote in the UMA is even more heinous. It accuses Malay of paying too much attention to the integrity of the process in order to protect its reputation in the wake of the search. It accuses Malay of trying to centralize leadership in the seven systems of the Maine system by stripping the university of its autonomy and diverting attention and resources from the goal of higher education.

Outside of that no-confidence vote, students at the University of Maine in Farmington occupied an administrative building in a 24-hour position last week in protest of the removal of nine faculty positions. Some UMF students also demanded Malay’s resignation

A third no-confidence vote followed, at Southern Maine University, raising similar issues and focusing on the alleged failure of the Malay leadership. But the USM document goes beyond outlining the reasons for the no-confidence vote, which has been accused of allowing charities to run the curriculum, bypassing faculty input, making irrational investments, ignoring labor contracts, and ramping up the roadmap through an unusual unified accreditation model. Recognized together, not individually.

Faculty leaders at the University of Southern Maine said the vote was in solidarity.

“We felt the need to respond to what happened in Farmington and Augusta,” said Shelton Waldrep, an English professor and chair of the USM’s Faculty Senate. “We could have gone the other way – we could have just reacted to these two steps, not to say anything about the chancellor, but it was clear from the Senate conversation that the senators were hurt and felt they needed to take a stronger position. Only what happened in Farmington and Augusta.” Not only that, but also the leadership of the system. “

Moving forward

In an email Inside higher edMalloy acknowledged that it was a mistake for Lalibert not to disclose previous no-confidence votes during the search.

Malay added that Sturbeck Search, the firm that facilitated the search, had advised him and Bartholomew against discussing the no-confidence vote with the larger committee, a suggestion he said he should not have taken and blamed for an error.

Going forward, Malay said the presidential and provost candidates need to provide information on whether they have been the subject of a no-confidence vote. Beyond that change, the system is “working as quickly as possible to review our recruitment and human resource policies,” Malay wrote.

The system will “promptly review all UMS policies applicable to job search management and report within 30 days with recommendations on whether any policy changes should be made to ensure UMS complies with applicable and best practices,” Malay said. All relevant information regarding job search and job applicants is available for careful consideration by those responsible for screening candidates and making recommendations to the UMS Recruitment Manager or Authority.

Malay further stated that he was “continuing to engage in constructive discussions on how to improve our universities and prepare them to work together better to meet today’s higher education challenges. I am committed to what I have to do, and I believe Our university leaders and teachers will continue to work with me in that endeavor. “

Some faculty members suggested that the conversation with Malay was never constructive. They accuse Malay – a former Democratic governor of Connecticut who lacked higher education experience before taking the lead at Maine Systems University – of working with a lack of communication, transparency and respect for shared governance. They described him in a public statement as a “rejection” of the majority vote of no confidence.

“Basically, he continued his approach to minimizing those who raised concerns,” McClimer said. “It’s basically redefining their questions and their problems because they need reassurance, they’re concerned. It’s a common theme. If you have any questions or concerns, you’re just afraid of change, and you’re worried; you don’t understand and it’s a legitimate discussion.” Avoid. “

So how can Malay build trust with a faculty that has received two no-confidence votes against him?

“One day at a time. By listening, by increasing communication and transparency, by my actions demonstrates my commitment to the university system and the students we serve,” wrote Malay. Inside higher ed. “Changing how our universities work together is not an easy task, but I believe that our shared values ​​and dedication to public higher education provide the foundation we need to ensure that the University of Maine system and our seven universities and law The school will continue. Show the students the way to success. “

Trust is being restored

Experts outside the University of Maine system note the same things as critics inside – a clear lack of clarity in an investigation that ultimately creates unnecessary problems. They suggest that it was a mistake to keep information secret from the larger search committee.

“I would always encourage them to share with the search committee,” said Sally Mason, a senior consultant and senior fellow at AGB Consulting. “The information is out there. And all you have to do is try to verify how accurate the information you are getting. And the only way you can do that is to be open and transparent and ask questions.”

Armand Alcabe, trustee of the American Council of Trustees and alumni trustee and vice president of public affairs, proposes a similar view on the importance of transparency.

“Everything about the candidates should be known not only to the search committee, but also to the entire board. Because no matter how they delegate authority, it is still the responsibility of the board to make this appointment. “You can delegate authority, but you cannot delegate responsibility. So the best practice is to make mistakes for the sake of transparency, I would say. “

But would a no-confidence vote in a previous institution reduce Lalibert’s chances? Probably not, experts suggest that a search committee should consider the context of such a vote.

“There are a lot of possible reasons for a no-confidence vote, but not all of them are ineligible,” Alakbe said “It should have been disclosed, because you want as much transparency as possible; You want to access all the materials. A no-confidence vote is a material piece of information but not necessarily a passive piece of information. “

And now that Malay is working to win the confidence of faculty agencies that have issued two no-confidence votes against him, Lalibarte হবে which is expected to begin in August কে must win against the suspected faculty members who have declared him an illegal recruiter.

Lalibert will start with a setback, but gaining that confidence depends on it, experts say.

“If I were in those shoes, I would immediately sit down with the shared governance groups, especially the teachers, and start a conversation with them and answer their questions as frankly as possible, trying to build a relationship as well as build trust,” Mason said. Dr. “But it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of communication from the president.”

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