The California State University, Stanislaus Academic Senate voted overwhelmingly on November 10, 2009 to authorize a vote of no confidence in President Hamid Shirvani. This is the first time in the fifty year history of the university that a vote of no confidence in the president has been taken.
Faculty members, in their remarks to the general faculty at their opening meeting and at subsequent Academic Senate meetings, emphasized that the vote was not a reaction to the current wave of budget cuts.
“There has been an ongoing pattern of financial mismanagement coupled with a continuing resistance to telling the public how their tax dollars are being spent,” noted Ken Schoenly, Professor of Biology and past chair of the faculty budget committee.
“The extraordinarily high turnover in key administrative positions while Shirvani has been president has increased costs significantly and limits the university’s ability to respond effectively to the challenges it faces,” said Randall Brown, Professor of Management.
The authorization to hold a ballot of confidence on the president’s leadership comes after years of deteriorating relations between faculty and the president. Kelvin Jasek-Rysdahl, Professor of Economics, said that what faculty find most disturbing is Shirvani’s “lack of attention to the mission and vision of the California State University System and of the Stanislaus campus.”
Steven Filling, Professor of Accounting and Speaker of the Faculty, said that some faculty, staff and administrators have struggled over the past four years to work with Shirvani but without success.
The vote will allow the entire membership of the General Faculty – more than 300 employees, including librarians, counselors, coaches, and academic administrators – to express to the public their confidence in Shirvani’s leadership.
“Even the President gets to vote,” added Filling
The vote by the General Faculty is scheduled for 12-19 November.