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Indiana University Faculty Plan Mass Meeting Over School President’s Leadership


Indiana University’s faculty council will hold an unusual meeting next week to discuss concerns about IU President Adam Herbert’s decision to reopen the search for candidates for a key university post.

Some faculty members are upset by Herbert’s decision to reopen the search for a person to become chancellor of the Bloomington campus. In particular, some are angry that Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was passed over for that post.

In response to a petition about those concerns, the Bloomington Faculty Council set a meeting for Nov. 15 at the IU Auditorium.

Fred Cate, a law professor who was chairman of an unofficial faculty gathering last week on the matter, said the new meeting’s agenda might include a resolution urging the IU trustees to review Herbert’s performance as president.

Another resolution could ask that Herbert appoint Subbaswamy as chancellor at IU’s 38,000-student main campus and that the chancellor-vice president for academic affairs position be split into two posts.

Last Friday, the trustees unanimously approved a resolution backing Herbert’s decision to reopen the search for a new chancellor. It stated that Herbert and the search committee should complete the search as early as January.

Longtime IU Bloomington leader Ken Gros Louis has been interim chancellor and vice president since January 2004.

Herbert, who originally signaled he would fill the post last spring, said he had hoped to fill the chancellor-vice president position this month. However, he said finalists identified by a search committee were not the right fit for the job.

While expressing support for Herbert, the trustees also advised him to work with faculty members to develop a faster procedure for future searches for academic administrators.

A quorum of 200 of the campus’s nearly 2,000 faculty members must attend the Nov. 15 meeting to conduct business. If fewer than 800 attend, it will take an all-faculty ballot, likely by electronic mail, to take action.

Subbaswamy, in an electronic newsletter sent this week to College of Arts and Sciences faculty, said he was “deeply touched and inspired” by their support. He has hinted that he may leave the university soon.

“Clearly, this appointment is the prerogative of the president, and it is inappropriate to question that authority,” he wrote. “We must maintain an environment on campus that will be conducive to a successful search.”

— Associated Press

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