A majority of faculty in Rutgers University's Camden College of Arts and Sciences approved votes of no-confidence in their chancellor Dr. Antonio D. Tillis and provost Dr. Daniel Hart, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Though the votes technically carry no weight, they are intended to send "a message that the relationship between faculty and the administration is damaged and needs to be repaired,” Dr. Jim Brown, an associate professor of English and president of the Rutgers-Camden chapter of the AAUP-AFT union, told the Inquirer.
Faculty became riled when Tillis removed the dean of the school, Dr. Howard Marchitello, without providing an explanation. According to the Inquirer, faculty have speculated that it may be due to comments Marchitello made regarding underfunding and pay equity decisions for faculty.
Just as the faculty were voting Thursday morning, Tillis sent an email apologizing for the way he handled Marchitello's leaving. "Now, I understand why this looked like new leadership coming in and shaking things up. That was not my intention, and I regret that," he wrote, adding that he is working on pay-equity requests and salary increases.
According to the Inquirer, faculty said that, in order to regain confidence, the chancellor and the provost need to “take significant steps to demonstrate [their] commitment to self-governance, transparency, and an inclusive vision for the college and its faculty.”