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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Tenured, tenure-track faculty vote no confidence in university president

Kennady Basdekis-Morin / Hilltop Views
A vote of no confidence against university president Montserrat Fuentes took place last week with a 61% majority. The Board of Trustees has since responded to this vote reaffirming their confidence in President Fuentes’ leadership.

An assembly of 135 tenured and tenure-track faculty voted no confidence in St. Edward’s University President Montserrat Fuentes last week with a 61% majority. 

“The result of the Faculty vote reported to the Board is disappointing, especially in light of our shared governance model, which allowed Faculty representation on the Board many opportunities to have engaged in proactive and responsible dialogue on issues affecting the University,” an email to faculty from Board of Trustees Chair Martin Rose said in response to the vote. The email also affirmed the Board’s confidence in “Fuentes’ leadership.”

This comes after a motion for a vote of no confidence was brought forth by communication professor Teri Varner, Ph.D., at the Faculty Senate meeting on March 1. According to meeting minutes, Varner outlined eight “extensive, well-documented reasons” for her motion that were presented to Fuentes. 

“Without these matters being more rigorously addressed, the faculty will have little to no confidence in the administration’s ability to lead the institution, its university mission and its goals,” Varner wrote in her motion. 

These reasons, which were then drafted into the Articles of Concern by a subcommittee of Faculty Senators, included pay changes, retention concerns, program priorities, athletic resources, inclusive symbols and visibility, facilities and workload.   

Fuentes responded to the vote of no confidence in an email sent to faculty April 21.

“While change can be difficult and differences of opinion in academia are inevitable, the Articles of Concern were not factual and the lack of a mutually collaborative decision-making process for the vote of no confidence was inconsistent with our principles,” the email said. “The recent vote will not detract from the many positive developments that have occurred over the past few years.”

This statement was reiterated to Hilltop Views from Fuentes in response to requests for comment about the vote of no confidence. 

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About the Contributor
Claire Lawrence
Claire Lawrence, Editor-in-Chief
Claire is a senior Communication major with a minor in Journalism continuing to dedicate her time growing and learning as a student journalist. Claire has been with Hilltop Views for three years. This is her second year as Editor-in-Chief. Previously, she served as a Staff Writer and as News Editor. Outside of St. Edward's, Claire plays bass in Austin-local band "Losers." Though she is graduating soon, she hopes to leave her mark in the newsroom and inspire other students to get involved with their campus paper.

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    Stephanie TimineyApr 25, 2024 at 12:48 pm

    Difference of opinion? Seriously? OPINION. Now the career pathways of your students are just “opinions”. Well my student’s “opinion” will be taken seriously at another University. One that doesn’t rob their students of their opportunities, their tuition, and their morale. This vote if no confidence will hopefully stain this administration. The fact that it was overwhelmingly passed, should outline how egregious the presidents actions were.