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WVU Faculty Senate Votes Down Resolution That Would Have Found 'No Confidence' In President Gee, Provost

Gee delivers his 2017 State of the University address.
West Virginia University

West Virginia University’s Faculty Senate voted 20 to 103 to kill a resolution Monday that would have found “no confidence” in President Gordon Gee and Provost Maryanne Reed.

The resolution, which was amended during Monday’s meeting to remove COVID-19 vaccine-related concerns, claimed that Gee and Reed have not been inclusive in their hiring practices for senior administrative officials.

It also claimed a lack of transparency in the university’s “Academic Transformation” initiative. It further claimed that Gee and Reed have failed to respect shared governance, which means seeking input from governing boards, faculty, professional staff and administration.

Both Gee and Reed spoke ahead of the vote. They stood by the hires made during the COVID-19 pandemic, and argued they have been transparent and that their doors are always open.

“The people that we have hired are talented, they have impeccable qualifications, they are changing the trajectory of this institution,” Gee said. “I'm here to make us better, you are here to make us better … Shared governance is about all of us sharing in responsibility.”

Reed also defended the collaborative efforts with leadership.

“Gordon and I and our entire senior leadership team are responsible for leading this university and ensuring that we all thrive,” Reed said. “But you know, leadership doesn't always come from the top. Every one of us can demonstrate leadership by speaking up for what we believe in, even if those views are unpopular, and I applaud those of you who had the courage to speak out today.”

While a handful of faculty members spoke in defense of Gee and Reed, none stood to speak in favor of the resolution.

Some faculty members expressed publicly that they felt uncomfortable knowing that voting online about the resolution would not be anonymous.

Gee started his second term as WVU’s president in 2014. Reed was hired as provost in 2019.

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