MACHIAS (AP) – Faculty at the University of Maine at Machias have voiced their disapproval of Chancellor Joseph Westphal.

The faculty voted 21-11 on a no-confidence resolution targeting Westphal and the entire University of Maine System Board of Trustees.

Faculty members said Wednesday’s vote at an emergency meeting was not a direct response to the reorganization plan approved two days earlier. Instead, they suggested it was about leadership.

“I don’t think this is a vote about the strategic plan,” said Ron Mosley of the business department. “It’s a vote if we have confidence in the leadership.”

The full text of the motion identified 10 points that fall at odds with the faculty. It said “the chancellor and Board of Trustees have embarked on a path that minimized and diminished faculty opinions, ideas, thoughts and wishes.”

It also targeted a plan to create a consortium out of the Machias, Presque Isle and Fort Kent campuses, saying the plan “prohibits the individual campuses from evaluating and controlling their own future.”

Outside the meeting, Mosley described the vote as symbolic but said the faculty hopes the trustees will take seriously.

Jon Reisman, the faculty vice president, said afterward that the vote came at a stressful time for the faculty.

“I don’t think anyone took this vote lightly,” he said. “Everybody put their cards on the table. Whatever happened, we still work well together as a faculty. It was a good, open and frank discussion.”

John Diamond, spokesman for the University of Maine System, said the faculty failed to acknowledge that many of their ideas were incorporated in the final plan approved after a year of study and debate.

“It’s unfortunate that some members of the Machias faculty aren’t acknowledging that the chancellor and trustees incorporated many of their suggestions into the revised strategic plan,” Diamond said.

AP-ES-09-23-04 1237EDT



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