Faculty approved the no confidence referendum on a vote of 464 to 134 – not good for the school’s public image.
"To the world at large, this is an academic food fight for the most part."
Sheldon Steinbach is a higher education legal affairs expert in Washington DC. He says the vote is purely symbolic.
"It is not binding on the Board of Regents or the Board of Trustees. It does demonstrate a level of discontent by the faculty."
The vote has prompted President Gonzalez to reach out. In a letter to faculty and staff, Gonzalez says the referendum is a symptom of poor communications. He says in the coming weeks he’ll seek input from faculty and develop a number of actions to improve relations between administrators and faculty. Some faculty members blame him for a $6.5 million deficit. Gonzalez says the shortage is because of rising operating costs.