Fri. May 24th, 2024

Columbia faculty group calls for no confidence vote in university president

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May21,2024

The Columbia University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) demanded a no confidence vote on Thursday against school President Minouche Shafik amid ongoing controversy over the campus’s recent student protests.

“A vote of no confidence in the President and her administration is the only way to begin rebuilding our shattered community and re-establishing the University’s core values of free speech, the right to peaceful assembly, and shared governance,” the group said in a statements days after Shafik used the New York Police Department (NYPD) to clear the pro-Palestinian encampment and get protesters out of Hamilton Hall.  

The chapter takes issue with the use of the NYPD on Tuesday to make arrests, especially without the approval from faculty Senate.  

“This decision was made without consultation with the University Senate, in violation of established procedures, by recourse to so-called emergency powers. It also flew in the face of efforts by the AAUP and faculty trusted by the student protestors to de-escalate the situation on campus and to serve as observers in negotiations — efforts endorsed by the University Senate chair that continued into the afternoon before the assault,” the statement reads.  

The NYPD has arrested hundreds of people at Columbia since the pro-Palestinian demonstrations began over two weeks ago, kicking off a national-wide movement.  

The faculty chapter points out other schools such as Brown University have made deals with activists to deescalate the protests peacefully. 

A spokesperson for the university said the AAUP chapter is not representative of all faculty and that the university Senate is what truly represents the school.

“President Shafik continues to regularly consult with members of the community, including faculty, administration, and trustees, as well as with state, city, and community leaders. She appreciates the efforts of those working alongside her on the long road ahead to heal our community,” a spokesperson said.

But the professors accused Shafik of creating an environment that led to distrust due to bad decisions and judgement.  

“From the beginning of the current crisis, the Shafik administration has consistently failed to respect student and faculty rights to free speech, academic freedom, and shared governance. New rules of conduct and opaque and arbitrary disciplinary procedures have been created unilaterally with no regard for long-standing policies, procedures, and norms. The statutory role of the University Senate created in the aftermath of 1968, has been ignored and minimized,” the group said.  

Shafik has faced numerous calls to resign by both Democrats and Republicans for failure to get the protests under control quickly enough.  

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Columbia faculty group calls for no confidence vote in university president”
  1. The call for a no confidence vote in the President is a necessary step to restore trust within the community and uphold the university’s values. The use of NYPD without faculty approval is concerning and undermines the principles of shared governance.

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