West Virginia University Faculty Senate Votes No Confidence in President E. Gordon Gee

The vote of no confidence from West Virginia University's Faculty Senate comes amid proposed sweeping cuts over a budget shortfall.
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Published on September 12, 2023
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  • Faculty senators at West Virginia University issued an overwhelming vote of no confidence in President E. Gordon Gee at a Sept. 6 meeting.
  • The vote comes amid sweeping proposed cuts to majors and faculty positions.
  • West Virginia University is facing a $45 million budgetary shortfall.
  • The West Virginia Board of Governors is set to vote on those proposed cuts Sept. 15

West Virginia University (WVU) faculty senators overwhelmingly issued a vote of no confidence in President E. Gordon Gee on Wednesday amid proposed academic and job cuts.

Students and faculty walked out in protest amid the proposed cuts, which come amid a $45 million budget deficit. That plan includes discontinuing dozens of majors and reducing faculty positions.

The resolution passed 797-100 by WVU's Faculty Senate on Wednesday criticized Gee over the cuts and a lack of transparency. The resolution reads that "poor planning, faulty decision making, and financial mismanagement on the administration's own part," as well as a lack of state funding, contributed to the budgetary shortfall in addition to enrollment declines.

Tina Faber, a faculty senator and field placement specialist and clinical instructor at the WVU School of Social Work, spoke in favor of the no confidence vote at the meeting.

"President Gee's tenure has been marred by a series of questionable decisions that have eroded trust and confidence within our university community," Faber said.

Faber said the success of higher education institutions "relies heavily on open dialogue and collaboration, which seem to have been neglected under President Gee's leadership."

Faculty senators also overwhelmingly passed a resolution against the proposed cuts.

The WVU Board of Governors issued a statement in support of Gee and the "strategic repositioning of WVU" and charged that "misinformation" informed the resolutions.

"The Board of Governors unequivocally supports the leadership of President Gee and the strategic repositioning of WVU and rejects the multiple examples of misinformation that informed these resolutions," the statement reads. "The University is transforming to better reflect the needs of today, and we must continue to act boldly. President Gee has shown time and again he is not afraid to do the difficult work required."

WVU Department of English professor Lara Farina criticized the Board of Governors at the Faculty Senate meeting.

"Even when scores of faculty communicate concerns about President Gee's reckless initiatives, the board is unwilling to engage these, essentially rubber stamping whatever Gee does," Farina said in urging the passage of the no confidence vote.

"At the level of governance, then, there is no real restraint on Gee's administration. The only corrective can come from public outcry and protest by students and employees."

The WVU Board of Governors is set to vote on the proposed cuts Sept. 15.