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Breaking: Faculty Rebukes Kim/Folt

In a well attended meeting of the faculty today in Alumni Hall, an estimated 80-90% of faculty members rejected the administration’s description of the actions taken to solve the College’s budget crisis. In a follow-up to the faculty meeting on May 9, Dartmouth’s professors passed a second resolution that can only be interpreted as a slap in the face for Jim Kim.

Professors present at the meeting were highly critical of many aspects of the administration’s curiously unprofessional explanation of its budget cutting program. They voted to oblige the administration to try once again to provide the Dartmouth community with a serious, well worked out description of its budget plan.

Herewith the resolution (note: a written copy of the resolution was not distributed to faculty before voting; the below was transcribed from Professor Ron Green’s spoken presentation):

Whereas a formal request was made by this assembly on May 9, 2011 for a detailed account of the College’s budgetary situation and of measures to close the budget gap, and

Whereas the members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences are disappointed that the documents provided on May 20, 2011 do not provide the detail expected by the Faculty and specified in the resolution adopted on May 9, 2011,

Resolved: That this assembly requests that the Committee on Organization and Policy take action to recharge and strengthen the Committee on Priorities so that it can more effectively serve the Faculty, and in particular, so that it can secure and discuss the information requested on May 9, 2011

Resolved: That the Committee on Priorities shall report back to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences by the end of Fall term on its evaluation of the College’s budgetary situation, its successes and failures in securing information from senior officers of the College, and its assessment of the current administration’s consultation practices

Resolved: That the Faculty of Arts and Sciences again requests from the senior officers of the College a detailed accounting of the measures taken to close the budgetary gap, to be submitted two weeks before the first Fall 2011 faculty meeting.[Emphasis added]

In the genteel world of faculty/administration relations, the above expression of “disappointment,” and the subsequent assertion that the administration’s responses to the faculty’s request for data “do not provide the detail expected,” are strong expressions of overall discontent.

As Dartblog has noted previously, the backstory here is more interesting than the specific item at issue. Clearly President Kim and Provost Folt are unpopular among the members of the faculty; the sloppy way in which the budget reductions have been explained — many members of the faculty simply do not believe the financial figures that they have been given by the administration — are but a pretext for a broad critique of Jim Kim’s first two years in office.

Most importantly, the injection of the word “disappointment” into the resolution signals a ramping up in intensity of the faculty’s resolve as compared to the resolution passed two weeks ago. The natural next step in this process would be a resolution of no confidence in President Kim and Provost Folt.

Dartblog will follow this breaking story closely in the coming days.


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