The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Faculty Senate vote no confidence in CSU chancellor

Senator Gina Masequesmay discusses one of the motions during the Faculty Senate meeting that took place in the Ferman Presentation Room of the Oviatt Library on Thursday, Feb. 14. Photo credit: Clare Calzada

In a symbolic rebuke to the CSU system leadership over its handling of EO 1100-R and 1110, the CSUN Faculty Senate passed a vote of 42 to 13 of no confidence in CSU Chancellor Timothy White last Thursday.

The resolution of no confidence in Chancellor White was passed by the majority after the implementation of policies without data or faculty consultation by the CSU system. Copies of the resolution will now be distributed to the multiple institutions as stated in the document.

Faculty Senate President Mary-Pat Stein opened the motion and invited two of the members of the ad hoc committee that wrote the resolution, Kathryn Sorrells, professor in the Department of Communication Studies, and Senator Gina Masequesmay, to speak before the vote took place.

“We are inviting you to try not to weaponize the parliamentary procedures, to undermine the democratic process, the kind of thing we witnessed during the December faculty meeting,” said Sorrells. “Also to not be fooled by personal testimony, friendship or statements like ‘the chancellor is such a great guy, he’s a good guy,’ because that’s not the point. We aren’t voting on his personality, we’re voting on his competence to do the job.”

Sorrells expressed that as the leader of the CSUs serving over 480,000 students, Chancellor White has been mandating policies without any data to support their effectiveness and rationale as they relate to the curriculum without any consultation with faculty.

“He’s using his position to undermine the faculty government, undermine the quality of education for our students and effectively create additional structural barriers for students who already had to fight a lifetime of structural inequity just to get here,” she said. “You could look away from them, their needs, their challenges and simply to go along to get along, or you could join others in taking a stand and voting no confidence in Chancellor White.”

Tensions flared while the Faculty Senate went through each clause of the document, notably when Senator Virginia Kennedy made a motion to change the word “crisis” to “concern” in a clause stating that Chancellor White has a “responsibility to demonstrate effective leadership particularly during a time of national crisis where white supremacy, racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia are normalized and enacted.”

“The crisis that we’re living in in our communities might be a concern to you but the fact that there are children dying in detention centers is a crisis to us, the fact that they’re being sexually abused is a crisis to us,” said Martha Escobar, associate professor of Chicano/a studies, who was in attendance in the guest seating. “So you might see it as a concern but it’s a crisis to us and it would be a real revealment of this space if you change ‘crisis’ to ‘concern.’”

Escobar told Senator Jeff Wiegley she was not willing to negotiate after he explained that his intention was to get a motion that passed but was more inclusive to the accuracy of everyone’s perception.

Stein intervened, saying, “Everybody stop. These discussions are about the document and these discussions do not go back and forth between people ever,” to which Escobar retorted back, “When it’s our lives, yes it is.”

“Replacing ‘crisis’ with concern takes away the seriousness of everything that is listed because the fact that those things are being normalized is a crisis,” said Beverly Ntagu, Associated Students president. “My generation is tired of seeing these things in news over and over again and nothing is being changed.”

Senator Jerald Schutte had recommended that the vote be pushed back until March, due to possible repercussions that could take place if the Faculty Senate voted no confidence in Chancellor White. Tabling the motion to the next meeting would provide the time frame for Chancellor White to commit to things such as allocating Gov. Newsom’s new budget to the CSUN campus, Schutte explained.

“If he did that it’s just another unethical act,” said Senator William Yarrow. “There is no such thing as timing with what we are talking about when people are dying and our students are coming here and we aren’t supporting them. The timing was 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, this should have been done.”

A passing vote of no confidence now means that the Faculty Senate, as stated in the no confidence resolution, has “no confidence in Chancellor Timothy White to lead CSU in a manner that enables our faculty, staff, and administrators to fulfill the mission at CSUN ‘to enable students to realize their educational goals’ and meet the University’s first priority ‘to promote the welfare and intellectual progress of students.’”

“Our students and the students across the CSU system deserve a leader who, through the policies he implements, actually supports students’ success and where that’s a priority,” said Sorrells.

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