Read statement by Transylvania faculty on 'vote of no confidence'

May 28, 2013 

Now that Chairman W. T. Young, Jr. and Dr. R. Owen Williams have chosen to release a statement to the public about the current situation at Transylvania University, we would like to provide more information about the faculty's vote of no confidence taken on Friday, May 24, 2013. We initially approached Chairman Young in a spirit of collaboration, with the knowledge that we share a love of our university. We are deeply disappointed that despite the amount and the gravity of information we provided to him and other members of the Board of Trustees on April 28, 2013, he chose to characterize our actions as "extreme and unwarranted."

The faculty members of Transylvania University are deeply committed to the well-being and success of our students and of our institution. Over the last three years we have made measured judgments and taken careful steps to address the problems created by Dr. Williams' leadership. We find ourselves very distressed to be in this situation; it is only because of the extreme nature of these failures of leadership that we find it necessary to take a vote of no confidence, an action unprecedented at Transylvania.

This vote was in response to a range of behaviors on the part of Dr. Williams that disrupt and diminish student learning, faculty scholarship, and the mission of the college. While the tenure decisions are indeed recent examples of unjustified and irresponsible decision making, our concerns range widely, from an increasingly hostile campus environment for faculty, staff, and students to questionable and ineffective management. Our vote was the culmination of three years of fruitless attempts to work with Dr. Williams to remedy these problems.

Chairman Young is quoted in The Herald Leader as saying "The Board of Trustees has one overriding mission, and that is to make Transylvania the best educational institution it can be." We share these goals and disagree with The Herald Leader's representation of the Board and faculty as "warring factions." Like the Board, the faculty seeks only to provide a quality education for our students and to ensure the continued excellence of our institution. Dr. Williams' reckless actions in the last three years have undermined these common goals.

Judy Jones Past Presiding Officer Professor of Accounting

Melissa Fortner Presiding Officer Associate Professor of Psychology

Ben Hawkins Presiding Officer - Elect Professor of Music

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