The Morehead State University faculty senate voted last week to censure President Wayne Andrews.
The 23-11 vote signaled the faculty’s displeasure with a lack of faculty input on major decisions affecting the campus, said faculty senate chairwoman Annie Adams.
“Since then, Senate leadership has met with the president and planned future meetings with the president and members of his administrative team to chart a productive path forward,” Adams said in a statement. “Our goal is to work in concert with the administration to protect and preserve the academic mission of the university in these challenging times.”
Late Wednesday, Andrews said he was disappointed with the vote, but not surprised.
“These are challenging times for higher education,” he said. “However, I am completely dedicated to the long-term success of Morehead State University. Budget cuts that impact people are difficult, but we remain committed to the success of our students, first and foremost. There is more work to be done, and I look forward to working collaboratively with the Faculty Senate and the rest of the campus community to assure student success.”
According to the American Association of University Professors, “censure” in academia means that academic freedom and other conditions are unsatisfactory.
Adams declined to comment on whether the vote was related to Andrews’ decision to put all faculty and staff on a week-long unpaid furlough.
At the time, Andrews said Morehead must cut costs by $4.5 million to erase a $2.6 million tuition shortfall and comply with Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to cut $1.95 million, or 4.5 percent of the state’s appropriation to the school, during the fiscal year that ends June 30.
Morehead’s state appropriation has declined $6.8 million since 2008. In addition, Morehead’s enrollment has declined 4 percent in the past two years because of economic troubles in Eastern Kentucky’s coalfields, further hurting Morehead’s bottom line.
Bevin made the current-year cut by executive order on March 30. Since then, Attorney General Andy Beshear has sued Bevin, alleging that the governor does not have the authority to make current-year budget cuts without legislative approval.
In a budget deal reached early Thursday morning, state lawmakers agreed to a compromise cut of 4.5 percent cuts to higher education in the biennium, but said they would leave the current-year cuts up to the courts to decide.
The last day of this year’s legislative session is Friday.