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LU faculty senate passes vote of no confidence in provost, vice president of academic affairs

The Lincoln University faculty senate said it has lost confidence in the leadership of university provost and vice president of academic affairs.

The faculty senate approve a “no confidence” resolution Thursday on Dr. Said Sewell in an 88 to 18 vote, according to senate secretary Rachel Sale.

In the action item’s summary, the faculty senate said it had alerted university administration of issues with Sewell since the fall of 2015, but nothing had changed.

The group said they were concerned the university was headed in a direction that would “negatively impact our students and the taxpayers of Missouri for years to come.”

In a packet outlining concerns of the faculty senate, the group raised five issues claiming Sewell had not responded in a substantive way to members’ concerns and had ignored principles of shared government.

First, the group raised concerns about program reorganization, in part saying history faculty members were working under the threat they may be fired if they did not accept revision to their curriculum.

Second, Sewell reportedly ignored multiple resolutions passed by the group in the previous academic year expressing concerns with his office.

Third, he reportedly regularly ignored committee recommendations or did not consult committees.

Fourth, the budget committee was eliminated and faculty had growing concerns about how some funds were handled.

Finally, the group said Sewell had been unable to relay accurate information to the board of curators and the public, specifically in regards to recent degree program eliminations and restructuring.

“I think he he has some good ideas,” Abdoulaye Bah, a professor at Lincoln University, said. “But people have come to the conclusion that you know they are not being listened to or heard in terms of trying to impact hard decision that really can affect both of us, the faculty, the students and staff that are being made.”

Bah said he does not speak for the faculty senate or executive committee, but as a faculty member on campus.

ABC 17 News reported on Monday, faculty members at the university announced efforts to organize a collective bargaining unit. Faculty members hoped it would give them more of a voice in future decision.

A Lincoln University spokesperson said the university has no comment on
Thursday’s action by the faculty senate.

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