The votes are in from the University of Arizona’s 10-question faculty poll regarding faculty confidence in the administrative team of President Robert N. Shelton and Provost Meredith Hay.
Of the 2754 faculty eligible to vote, only 858 actually did. But of those, 483 said they do not support the way Hay has carried out the Transformation process. Only 256 said the same about Shelton, showing that – at least of those who voted – there is indeed more acrimony directed at Hay than her boss. this trend was the same for the question regarding how the administration has handled the recent budget cuts: 483 said they didn’t support the way Hay has handled it, while only 212 said they did not support how Shelton handled it.
The big money question was the final one, and it tied Shelton and Hay together by asking, “How much confidence do you have in the ability of central administration to lead us through the tough challenges we face now and in the foreseeable future? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No confidence, 5=Full confidence.” Three hundred and eleven faculty voted no confidence, and only 75 voted full confidence. The remainder fell in the middle.
Shelton and Hay have been notified of the results, according to the e-mail sent out with the poll, signed by Faculty Chair Wanda Howell and other faculty leaders. I have not yet been able to reach either, but I’ve been told the Arizona Daily Star should have a full report tomorrow, so check your morning paper.
All the poll’s 10 questions followed the 1 to 5 scale of responses – the numbers I gave above were those who voted absolutely no support. The poll is broken down in greater detail below. An executive summary of the written comments collected in the poll and further evaluation of the numerical responses is expected by the end of this week, according to the e-mail sent to deans and department heads with the poll from faculty chair Wanda Howell. Next steps are still being determined, but some background on what might happen, at least from the viewpoint of the President of the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees Arizona’s three public universities, is here.
Here are the detailed poll results:
September 18-25, 2009 UA Faculty Poll Participation:
Eligible Voters: 2754 (includes approximately 750 emeriti faculty)
Ballots cast: 858 Percentage of eligible voters: 31.1%
College Eligible Voters Votes Cast Voter Rate
CALS 377 106 28.1%
CALA 32 1 3.1%
EDUCATION 104 15 14.4%
ENGINEERING 179 38 21.2%
COFA 156 55 35.3%
COH 185 104 56.2%
LAW 53 16 30.2%
COM 380 60 15.8%
NUR 72 5 6.9%
OPT SCI 41 5 12.2%
PHARM 46 13 28.3%
MEZCOPH 39 6 15.4%
COS 473 144 30.4%
SBS 335 176 52.2%
ELLER 123 58 47.2%
NON-COLLEGE 158 56 35.4%
Question 1. Do you support the way the President has carried out the Transformation Process? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 2. Do you support the way the President has handled the recent budget cuts? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 3. Do you support the way the Provost has carried out the Transformation Process? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 4. Do you support the way the Provost has handled the recent budget cuts? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 5. Do you support the principle of differential cuts? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No Support, 5=Full support
Question 6. Do you believe that the central administration has communicated adequately concerning recent changes at the UA? On a scale of 1-5, 1=Do not agree, 5=Agree
Question 7. Do you believe Open Forums would be important in improving communication between the central administration and the campus community? On a scale of 1-5, 1=Do not agree, 5=Agree
Question 8. Do you believe More Email and Other Digital Messages would be important in improving communication between the central administration and the campus community? On a scale of 1-5, 1=Do not agree, 5=Agree
Question 9. Do you think central administrator should be more visible on the University Campus? On a scale of 1-5, 1=Do not agree, 5=Agree
Question 10. How much confidence do you have in the ability of central administration to lead us through the tough challenges we face now and in the foreseeable future? On a scale of 1-5, 1=No confidence, 5=Full confidence
A postscript of sorts: UA Defender, the mostly anonymous faculty forum/blog that started to call into question the leadership of Hay and Shelton, has what appears to be one of its final posts here. Those running the blog appear to be asking for their blog to gracefully retire as long as another official faculty forum rises in its place. You can read the entire post for yourself, but this last bit is worth highlighting:
” … in the hope that ever-growing support and unity will gather around a senate-leadership group with the wherewithal, and, we hope, the will, to secure stronger, better-focused faculty involvement in an effective, productive relationship with the president and provost, whoever they may be, going forward. That can happen. And it must be done. By drawing on the collective wisdom and experience of the world-class faculty that is ours at the University of Arizona.
For it to happen with Robert Shelton, the onus would be more on him than on us. That much we have made clear. Regardless of the poll numbers, the very existence of the poll has made that clear.”