Emory faculty rejects “no confidence” motion against university president

Emory President James Wagner (Emory)

Emory President James Wagner (Emory)

The Emory Wheel is reporting tonight that the college faculty rejected a  “no confidence” motion against President James W. Wagner. Voting began Monday and ended tonight.

Wagner created controversy recently when he cited the infamous 1787  “three-fifths compromise” in an essay as an example on how leaders reach agreement. The compromise counted slaves as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of distributing funds back to states and determining representation in Congress.

Some students and faculty were already upset with Emory’s decision to close its educational studies division, its physical education department, its visual arts department and its journalism program and suspend admissions to the graduate programs in Spanish, economics and the Institute of Liberal Arts.

Faculty members in the College of Arts and Science decided to vote to determine their level of confidence in Wagner.

According to the Emory Wheel: (This is an excerpt. Please read the full piece before commenting.)

The ballot asked, “Should the faculty of Emory College of Arts and Sciences adopt the motion of no-confidence in President James Wagner?” The final tally showed that 39.8 percent of voters, or 133 faculty members, voted in support, while 60.2 percent, or 201 faculty members, were opposed.

Of the College’s 530 faculty members, 63 percent — or 334 members — participated in the voting. Polls opened Monday and closed at 8 p.m. today.

If the majority of the faculty had voted “no confidence,” the result would have had no direct effect on Wagner’s employment as University president but would have expressed the faculty’s belief that Wagner is no longer fit to lead.

Laney Graduate School students will participate in a similar vote this Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Graduate Student Council passed the bill allowing the vote earlier this month. Laney students will have a choice of “yes,” “no” or “abstain,” and the vote will also include a text box on the ballot, enabling them to explain the reasoning behind their votes.

The Student Government Association failed to pass a bill last month that would have added a “no confidence” vote to the student government elections electronic ballot. At the SGA meeting, the bill was amended to focus on the direction of the University in general rather than Wagner specifically.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

35 comments Add your comment

Private Citizen

April 12th, 2013
10:38 pm

No faculty trigger for him. And now the graduate students will have a similar “vote?” What a drag. Sounds like Race to the Top. I guess e’er body is “empowered.” Somebody pulled the “empowerment” fire alarm on Wagner. Now there’s a bunch of resources sending the fire trucks. Recently had a thought of how much of this demanding local authority stuff is from ignorant self-important folk. Georgia is brimming with this stuff, as if no one has any other mission, momentum, or use of their time. Byproduct of incoherence? It’s like everyone is so busy judging people and telling them what to do that there is no room to do anything.

bootney farnsworth

April 12th, 2013
11:07 pm

I’m surprised.
shows a level of maturity I didn’t think Emory faculty had.

or some serious hard core horsetrading

Private Citizen

April 12th, 2013
11:14 pm

Bootney, Maybe at Emory they take the Martin Niemöller quote seriously.

bootney farnsworth

April 12th, 2013
11:22 pm

but lets deal with the really important issue: how does he feel about integrated proms?

home-tutoring parent

April 13th, 2013
12:22 am

Well, I heard about Emory when I was 17, and heard good comments. I lived in Cali.I dived with an Emory student in 05. Good diver. Kind of a humble kid. When my GF’s dad had an a myocardial infarction in northern Florida, I told her, “Get him to Emory, now!” I don’t live in Georgia, but I heard about its cardiac care.

Dr. Wagner is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which is one of the most prestigious honors in the world

Emory is one of the best universities in America. If you want to take Dr. Wagner down, sorry you screwed up. If you want to retain him, you have hope. Good luck!

Another Math Teacher

April 13th, 2013
2:25 am

Ms. Downey, home-tutoring parent has been drinking again.

jlmdra

April 13th, 2013
3:30 am

Emory is an overrated university that rich kids attend when they can’t get into the university that they really wanted.

Private Citizen

April 13th, 2013
8:01 am

(report due to double link)
home tutoring, One question, Have you read Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan? If not, order or locate a copy today. He’s a good author / poet, maybe under-represented. Let’s dial something up. http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/7970.Richard_Brautigan

(cont)

Private Citizen

April 13th, 2013
8:05 am

home tutoring parent, here’s your assignment: read any one novel or poetry collection from Richard Brautigan and report back, writing one paragraph telling what the work means.

mountain man

April 13th, 2013
8:31 am

This is your brain. This is your brain after home-tutoring. Think about it.

mountain man

April 13th, 2013
9:14 am

Thank you, Maureen!

To the subject – I am glad that the faculty overlooked this ridiculous “tempest in a teapot”. The PC Police there at Emory are getting out of hand. Acting more like Nazis.

Private Citizen

April 13th, 2013
9:28 am

home tutoring parent, I recommend to you the novel In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan. That’s the one I read. Hey, check this, Brautigan reading http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5FikX1aXPk He’s really under-represented and deserving of some “face.”

hssped

April 13th, 2013
9:34 am

In 1987 I met a girl who had a full scholarship to Emory because she was black and was the first in her family to graduate or something. She was not what I would call the “top of her class.” She wasn’t taking any AP courses and wasn’t in any gifted classes. She was average and getting a full ride. It lowered my opinion of Emory. I guess they don’t really care about the caliber of their study body. I’m not surprised to see that a majority of the staff/students are all up in arms about PC crap. Whatever.

Private Citizen

April 13th, 2013
9:41 am

hssped, sometimes there is commentary from yankee academics and the like who come to Emory and comment on all of the black workers and gardeners and such tending the flower beds and making the campus pretty. The truth is that those are good jobs. I think being a little generous and taking care of students is a superb trait at Emory. Their sharp investment folk, like at many endowed schools, have made a ton of money through investing and they have to do something with it.

There are also private universities that promptly put a $100k on debt onto some kid’s head and send them on their way. That’s criminal. Emory doesn’t do that to young people.

myother

April 13th, 2013
11:43 am

What he speaks is the truth. Would you prefer to erase it from history?

Emory Grad Student

April 13th, 2013
12:17 pm

You guys realize he presided over the shutdown of a longstanding Educational Studies program that trains Atlanta-area teachers and provides programs for Atlanta schoolkids, right? And many of its graduates go on to teach in the Atlanta public school system?

Burroughston Broch

April 13th, 2013
1:09 pm

Political correctness, aka progressive thought, takes a hit. Only I/4 of the potential voters voted “no confidence.” Not what the progressive media wanted and expected.

b b queen

April 13th, 2013
1:11 pm

well said, private citizen

Emory Grad Student

April 13th, 2013
2:21 pm

Only 1/3 of potential voters voted “confidence”. I, too, can play the numbers to support my position.

Fred ™

April 13th, 2013
3:09 pm

jlmdra

April 13th, 2013
3:30 am

Emory is an overrated university that rich kids attend when they can’t get into the university that they really wanted.
+++++++++++++++++++++++

You can always tell who lacked the brains and academic credentials to get into Emory.

Fred ™

April 13th, 2013
3:12 pm

You guys realize he presided over the shutdown of a longstanding Educational Studies program that trains Atlanta-area teachers and provides programs for Atlanta schoolkids, right?

It’s sad that you don’t know the roles of the President and the Provost…………

OriginalProf

April 13th, 2013
3:57 pm

And a follow-up question to that of Fred ™ at 3:12 pm: what was the student enrollment like for this Educational Studies program over the last few years? Was it steady and rising, or declining precipitously? (That’s a genuine question. Programs with low student enrollments are going to get cut by the President in times of budgetary troubles, no matter how many outreach programs they have.)

what_what

April 13th, 2013
4:22 pm

read “waking up blind” and you will never think of emory the same way agian.

and to home schooled parent,,,,,please……member ship in the AAAS as proof of intelligence is like membership in the AAA is proof of being a good driver.

its all about the governance, baby! just ask the dekalb school system parents.

Private Citizen

April 13th, 2013
4:23 pm

Emory Grad Student and OriginalProf, The stated rationale for closing some of the programs, notably journalism, is that Emory is not in the business of operating trade schools, it’s a research institution. Painful, but I can see their point. I noted that the education graduate school used different language from the rest of the school and was strong on using the word “cadre” for their graduate students. I found it creepy and not to say the program was militaristic, but the language was. A “cadre” or group is anything but producing individuals with truly independent concepts, which is vital for valuable research.

cadre:
1. A small group of people specially trained for a particular purpose or profession.
2. A group of activists in a communist or other revolutionary organization.

The education school also refers to itself as the “Division of Educational Studies” and there after refers to itself as the “Division.” The first time I read that I thought of a tank division in the military. I found it odd, real odd. This separates the education studies from the other departments on campus, none of which call themselves a “division.” Why, their “about” webpage (I’m looking at the title now in my tabbed browser” is titled “About the Division.”

Check out these two sentences from their long and wordy mission page: The mission is reflected in the Division’s educational philosophy and professional commitment to educate a small cadre of reflective teachers and educational researchers who are competent and committed to work with diverse student populations and are able to envision schools as they might become rather than preserve schools as they presently exist. Documented professional standards serve as the desired outcomes for candidates in our programs.

Apparently Emory has clarified their independence of following “documented professional standards” as a desired outcome, and a good thing it is, too. Thank God, Good to see someone dump the “reflective teacher” propaganda.

Hey Emory grad student, do some original research!

Private Citizen

April 13th, 2013
4:27 pm

Looks like they divided themselves right off the campus. (hope I don’t get struck by lightning)

OriginalProf

April 13th, 2013
5:58 pm

@ Private Citizen. Now I recall something about Emory deciding that their Educational Studies Program was too close to being a “professional training” school, which fits with what you’re saying. I would guess that since the field of Education generally is shrinking in terms of graduate placement, they decided that the time to leave it is now. I do know that the student enrollments in Colleges of Education at both UGA and GSU are really in decline. Some Education Departments at UGA are either folding or consolidating as a result.

Emory is no fool.

Fred ™

April 13th, 2013
6:13 pm

Original Prof: It was declining. Who in their right mind is going to pay 42+ grand a year for a program that you can take at Georgia State for roughly 10 grand that is a low paying profession? They are having the same problem with their nursing school.

Hospitals don’t want to pay nurses and a nursing degree from Ga State pay the same as one from Emory when it comes to getting a job. That program is in trouble as well.

Coincidentally? My wife got her under graduate degree for Emory in Elementary education………

Emory Grad Student

April 13th, 2013
8:42 pm

PC – that was hilarious. DES is definitely a military group. BTW, there are other “Divisions”, like the massive “Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences” which holds multiple departments, one of which I am a part of. I’m moving up the rankings and hoping to sometime become the captain of my very own research lab!

Emory Grad Student

April 13th, 2013
8:50 pm

The more I think about PC’s comments, the more it makes sense. DES was probably internally organizing into a radical revolutionary group. That would be an understandable reason for them to be cut by governing bodies. It’s worth mentioning that a large proportion of DES faculty and students are African-American. They were probably creating their own Black Panther cell here on Emory’s campus. I do seem to remember an odd concentration of people wearing berets around their department building.

Pride and Joy

April 13th, 2013
8:55 pm

Congrats to Emory faculty for doing the right thing and ignoring the media fray.

Starik

April 13th, 2013
9:57 pm

It’s absurd that he was expected to apologize for his statement in the first place.

war eagle

April 14th, 2013
9:36 am

the progressives are getting progressively worse. FIrst they want to take away our rights, take away the majority rules law and now they want to te write historpy. The teleprompter corporation now mandates taht you cannot speak your mind if it may offend some idiot. I commend the faculty. FAIL those students! Institute open mindedness and difference of opinion. Otherwise, let the floggings begin!

jerry eads

April 14th, 2013
10:29 am

jlmdra, apparently you’ve never met either any of the faculty or any of the students. I’ll be the first to admit my Ph.D. is just from a podunk midwestern cow-college, so maybe I’m just easily impressed, but the Emory people I’ve worked with – both faculty and students – are hard-working, highly intelligent and incredibly well-trained individuals.

OriginalProf

April 14th, 2013
11:06 am

@ jimdra. I certainly agree with Jerry Eads about the excellence of Emory. Its high academic ranking is well-known nationally. So is its worthy scholarship program for well-qualified minority students who otherwise couldn’t afford to go there. You seem ignorant and envious to characterize it as you do.

(I have no connections at all with Emory, although one of my advisees who is brilliant chose to attend Emory’s graduate school.)

overpaid_administrator

April 15th, 2013
7:54 pm

First. The censure was warranted though I would agree that the “no confidence” would be too much. That said – what the non Emory community readers won’t understand is that the results of the vote will be used internally by administration as justification that Wagner did nothing wrong to begin with. That it was just an overreaction on the part of the community. That in reality its the community has the problem. Sure, they’ll pledge to be “more sensitive” and say things like “we hear you” but the Emory monarchs err administrators will be back to their ways in no time. It won’t be long till the next “let them eat cake” moment.